Push forward–to end violence against women and girls
Research shows that women in Africa make up 58% of the continent’s self-employed population. In Ghana, females are more than males, constituting about 50.7% of the population yet are under-represented in leadership roles. Evidently, the impact of women in leadership cannot be underestimated. Promoting women’s leadership, gender equality and women’s economic empowerment can accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
These were amplified strongly by the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ghana, Angela Lusigi, in a statement on a Twitter Space held to mark the 2022 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV)on the theme “Addressing gender barriers facing women & girls in leadership”.
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and runs until 10 December, International Human Rights Day.
In her welcome address, the UNDP Resident Representative in Ghana, Angela Lusigi, highlighted the need for concrete actionsto break the barriers that prevent women and girls from reachingtheir full leadership potential.
“Our world needs concrete actions to end gender-based violenceagainst women and girls. Nurturing and consolidating women’s participation in decision making process is critical towardssustainable development and economic growth. We all have a role to play to break all forms of gender barriers among women & girls in leadership”, she noted.
Brigitte Dzogbenuku, the 2020 Presidential Candidate of the Progressive People Party in Ghana, encouraged all young women to pursue their dreams and dare to make a change in their communities. She emphasized the need to have a deliberate and strategic program aimed at building female talent and resources at all levels within institutions through training. She also stressed on the importance ofgrooming women in roles across all functions including those traditionally perceived as male roles.
Faisal Bawa, National Programme Analyst on GBV at UNFPA called on institutions to establish initiatives and long-term goals that promote growth paths for women at workplaces.
Sharing his perspectives, Frank Bodza; a Gender Activist and Deputy Director of Conflict Management and Resolution, at the National Peace Council stated that “we need to expand opportunities for young women to pursue their leadership ambitions”. He called on senior women leaders to inspire other women to take up leadership roles.
Dr. Mercy Sugri Akaluti, Doctor of Medical Laboratory Science, Tamale Teaching Hospital and a former Women Commissioner at the University for Development Studies in Tamale, underscored the need to build the leadership capacities of women to promote gender equality in both public and private sectors.
“We need more organizations to fund and support female students wanting to take up leadership roles at all levels especially in our universities to advance women inclusion”, she stated.
Addressing gender-based violence will inspire more women and young girls to get involved in leadership and decision–making processes to accelerate sustainable development. We all have a role to play, let’s keep “pushing forward” for a world where violence against women and girls is not just condemned but stopped. By pushing forward together, we can promote an equal world for all.