The First Lady of the Republic, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo has emphasized her commitment and determination to ensure the myriad of challenges impeding the efforts and progress of women are mitigated.
According to the first lady, the marking of International Women’s Day under the theme “Press for Progress” represents the opening up of opportunities for us to add our voices to discussions to get us close to our goal.
“This year’s theme “Press for progress” speaks to something deep within me. For me, it means that we move in spite of the obstacles. That we push forward in spite of the resistance. It means we do not allow anything to stop us”.
Mrs Akufo-Addo, said this on Thursday, March 8, 2018, at an activity to mark this year’s International Women’s Day.
Enumerating achievements to ensure gender parity and the advancement of the cause of women in the past year, the first announced that, the Rebecca Foundation, has started a Women’s Empowerment programme called Telema to improve women’s economic status and bridge the gender gap.
“We have equipped 200 women in the Eastern and Northern Regions with skills to improve their businesses and their family income.” She added gleefully.
On health, she mentioned that her outfit with other partners have built a Paediatric Intensive Care Unit for Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital and refurbished a facility for Abam Krom in the Central Region as well as the construction of a CHPs compound at Nanshegu in the Northern Region under the Infanta Malaria Prevention Foundation.
She also stated this year’s event as focusing on the two important and related issues of Girls’ education and elimination of early marriages.
Explaining the choice of these areas, Mrs. Akufo-Addo said, even though UNICEF studies indicate a global declining trend in child marriages, we are still far from complete eradication.
“But as we all know, the longer a girl stays in school the longer she delays early marriage and childbirth. This ensures a better future for her.” She added.
She also called for a hands-on approach in this regard saying, “it is in Ghana’s interest to ensure both girls and boys develop to their full potential.”
“we must therefore take deliberate steps to do what others have done. We have the policies, we have the laws. We have the knowledge and we have the tools. It is time to act.” She emphasized.
First Lady Akufo-Addo ended by referring to a quote by Former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan that, “No development strategy is better than one that involves women as central players. It has immediate benefits for nutrition, health, savings, and reinvestment at the family, community, and ultimately, country level…”.