20.03.2006 Business & Finance

Women should be made Chiefs- women's advocate

20.03.2006 LISTEN

Accra, March 20, GNA- A traditional ruler has appealed to king makers to nominate more women as chiefs of their areas to represent the changing trend in the gender parity of the nation, Speaking at a seminar commemorating 'Women's History Month' in Accra on Monday, - Nana Senyewuo II, Akyem Awisa Adumadumhene said the disparity in Ghana's population with women being about 52 per cent had to be reflected in the leadership positions of most communities. "We should not continue to push men into becoming chiefs of our communities, when we make up the greater part of the population, but rather we need to avail ourselves for the positions of chiefs to prove the saying that what men can do women can do better," she said. She was contributing to an open forum under the theme, " Women: Builders of Communities and Dream".

Nana Senyewuo said she got appointed to the chieftaincy position in spite of the fact that she has three elder brothers who were equally eligible for the seat.

"We as women, only need to avail ourselves and present ourselves as people who the community can rely on both in times of crises and joy."

The month of March has been celebrated as Women's History Month since the American Congress passed a resolution in 1987. Today's celebration was held at the Public Affairs section of the U.S. Embassy in Accra, with the U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Pamela E. Bridgewater hosting it.

Dr. Rose Mensah-Kutin, Regional Programme Manager, Abantu for Development a panel member for the seminar said the political changes that has occurred since the 1990s, have created a chance for women to advance their right in areas such as economics, education and participation in national debates.

"What is clear is that pressing for our rights as women is useful as well as providing evidence that there are disparities in social provisioning

"However, to improve our well-being and achieve gender equality, we have to continue to provide continuous analysis of the issues, have a clear vision of where clear policy interventions need to be made and work effectively to mobilize ourselves to demand that the state delivers on its policy promises to promote gender equality," she said. Justice Margaret Insaidoo, president of FIDA Ghana in her contribution said women were as important as men and none of the sexes could be done away with, especially in the propagation of the human race.

"In spite of this, women have been discriminated against economically, socially and politically," she said.

Justice Insaidoo said although members of the public, especially women advocates have highlighted the achievements of women in public office and industry, the fact that many women remained as unsung heroines needed to be acknowledged.

She said a new age was beginning to dawn among women, and it holds out bright futures for women if only civil society and human rights institutions would continue to identify and empower excluded groups of women to be freed from injustices and violence and allowed to participate equally in society alongside men.

Madam Angela Dwamena- Aboagye, Executive Director, The Ark Foundation said women should not continue to sit down and allow their problems to be solved in the bed room, but rather they should fight for their rights once they believe in what they stand for. Madam Pamela Bridgewater, the US Ambassador, welcoming the participants and panellists said American women have come a long way in contributing to every aspect of American life and expressed the hope that a day would soon come when majority of Ghana's minister and Cabinet members would be women.

"We are committed to working with our Ghanaian partners to further the cause of women of every age, economic background, and walk of life. " We need to seize every opportunity to reinforce the importance of women's rights and recognize the contributions of women everywhere," she said.

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