SheLeads Social Movement empowers girls and young women in Wa

By Aminu Ibrahim II Contributor
Regional News SheLeads Social Movement empowers girls and young women in Wa

The Upper West Regional Chapter of the She Leads Social Movement (SLSM) has held a leadership empowerment training workshop for girls and young women (GYWs) who are members of the Movement in the region.

The leadership workshop, held over the weekend, formed part of the Movement's initiatives towards achieving the strategic goals of the She Leads Campaign.

The She Leads Campaign, with the goal of increasing sustained influence of GYWs on decision-making and transforming gender norms in formal and informal institutions, is being implemented in the Upper West Region by Community Aid for Rural Development (CARD Ghana) with support from Plan International Ghana.

The President of the She Leads Social Movement, Madam Felicia Baganiah said the workshop was in furtherance of the campaign goal of bridging gaps and increasing the participation of GYWs in decision-making and leadership.

"It's is glaring that we have a lot of women that are missing out in decision-making and leadership spaces both at the local and national level. This, I will say, has somehow impeded our progress and development," she said.

She noted that the themes for the workshop, including peace and security, political literacy and governance structures, were carefully selected to help the members appreciate "how governance structures operate [and] how the whole political landscape and key actors work."

The Acting Executive Director of CARD Ghana, Madam Ernestina Biney highlighted some of the successes chalked by the She Leads project since its inception three years ago.

She cited that "in Wa Technical Institute, for the first time, the Dining Hall prefect is a female, the SRC Organizer is a girl and the vice is also a girl, and for the first time in Dr Hilla Limann Technical University, the SRC Sports Secretary is a female."

She added there were numerous other track records and milestones chalked in the five project communities and six Senior High Schools the project was being implemented.

She hinted of plans to widen the reach of the project to impact some 1000 girls and young women within the year.

Mr Haruna Baba Dogah, a teacher at Wa Senior High School and research fellow at SDD University of Business and Integrated Development Studies, said peace was a precondition for development in any community and that no community could develop without peace and security.

"It's natural that if you are peaceful, development will come your way. And any community that is having conflict, automatically the development will halt; it's also natural," he said.

He encouraged high learning and education as panacea to the maintenance and restoration of peace and security as he said "the more people know, the less likely they are to become violent."

Some participants shared their experiences and takeaways from the workshop.

"It was really inspiring, we got to know that peace is a requisite for development and if you see a community that there is no development, you just know that there is an aspect of peace missing.

"They made us to understand that we all have a role to play in making peace. Even if you are unfortunate to live in a community where there's no peace, you can play a role by trying to calm it down; if you think you can't play a role in that aspect, at least, don't be part of the negative side," Ms Portia Dumba said.

"What stood out for me was the Ghana Enterprises Agency giving us details into the grants and loans they give out to businesses. And since I'm aspiring to be an entrepreneur, I'm sure I would get a platform to partner with them," Ms Fauzia Seidu Zila added.