The Executive Director of the Network of Women in Growth, Mawusi Nudekor Awity, at the weekend stressed the need for individuals and organisations interested in the welfare of women to move beyond mere advocacy and take practical steps to empower them economically.
She regretted that even though corporate organisations are always ready to sponsor entertainment programmes, such as beauty pageants, they are not interested in committing some of their resources into skills training for young women.
“We cannot continue to play lip-service to the issue of women empowerment, and keep it at the level of advocacy and expect to get the results we need. We need to move the issue of women empowerment beyond the level of advocacy to where we offer them practical training to enable them acquire the needed skills to be economically independent,” Mr Awity stated.
She was addressing the graduation ceremony of 20 young women who had undergone three months intensive entrepreneurial training organised by NEWIG-Ghana at Tefle in the Volta Region.
The 20 beneficiaries, selected from over 500 applicants, who came from all the regions, were trained in Information Communication Technology, Business Communication, Business Management, Textiles, Design Concept among others. Each of the beneficiaries went home a Certificate to Commence Business from the Registrar-General, materials and tools to start business straight away.
Mrs Awity bemoaned the fact that many young women are exposed to a lot of dangers in trying to give meaning to their drive for employment and economic independence, stressing: “Many of such young women become objects of all forms of abuses by the male-dominated world of work.”
She called for serious collaborative efforts among all stakeholders to design and implement practical training programmes, with adequate funding, to provide skills for more young women, adding that is the surest way of taking many people from the quagmire of poverty and deprivation.
“The issue of proving skills for women is central to women empowerment just as their economic independence is critical to their empowerment, and of course the issue of fighting poverty will be meaningless unless many women are made economically independent,” Mr Awity posited.
A former Ambassador to Japan under the Kufuour-led New Patriotic Party government, Dr Adjei Bawuah, commended NEWIG and its Executive Director for their commitment to the issue of supporting women to be economically independent.
He urged the beneficiaries of the training to put the skills they had acquired into productive use, to become useful to themselves and their communities.
“You are now manageress of your own businesses and so you should be looking at the option of polling the resources available to you together, to enter into partnerships or joint ventures to get more competitive business establishments, Dr Bawuah added.
The former Ambassador further challenged the young women “to play the vanguard of the new Ghanaian women who is self-confident, courageous and assertive,” instead of “playing the passive victims of circumstances.”