Mr. Mathias Tulasi, the Chief Executive Officer of Literacy Ambassadors Ghana (LAG), a non-governmental literacy organisation has made a call for Ghanaian women to inspire a love of reading among their children.
Mr. Mathias Tulasi made this call as today marks International Women's Day Celebration.
Below is his full statement
Today marks a very important day across the globe. International Women's Day, is a day of recognition and celebration of women globally.
It's one day of the year that recognizes the great values that women bring to individual communities and collectively to the world at large.
It depicts as well the incredible struggles of women who have paved the way for others.
This day has been observed since the early 1900s and now recognized each year on March 8th.
International Women's Day as the name suggests is not affiliated to any one group, but brings together governments, women's, charities organizations and corporations through talk shows, rallies, networking events, conferences,street possessions,donations, clean up exercises etc.
An ancient Sanskrit saying says, 'woman is the home and the home is the basis of society'. This is a statement of fact.
It is as we build our homes that we can build our country. If the home is inadequate, either inadequate in material goods and necessities or inadequate in the sort of friendliness, loving atmosphere that every child needs to grow and develop, then that country cannot have harmony and no country which does not have harmony can grow in any direction at all.
That is why women's education is almost more important than the education of boys and men.
The question is, can we boast of our Ghanaian homes or the situations are something else?
Government, Churches, NGOs, and husbands etc must therefore:
Give women the desire to have an understanding for the critical need of self-empowerment.
Assist women to develop greater self-worth, positive self-esteem and clarify their values on which to build successful lives.
Build confidence among women to take up issues and problems that affect their personal and communal development.
Encourage women to utilize their potential resources (time, talent and treasure) to work in harmony towards their integral development.
Assist women to help themselves and achieve economic self-sufficiency etc.
Today's celebration of International Women's Day must afford us all the opportunities to focus our attention on issues that matter most in the lives of women and their families such as; access to education, health care, jobs, the chance to enjoy basic legal and human rights and participate fully in the political life of our country.
Research findings reveal that women are 70% percent of the world's poor, and two-thirds of those who are not taught to read and write.
Women are primarily caretakers for most of the world's children and elderly. Yet much of the work they do is not valued - not by economists, not by historians, not by popular culture, not by government leaders and not by some husbands as well.
As we speak, women around the world are giving birth, raising children, cooking meals, washing clothes, cleaning houses, planting crops, running companies etc.
Also, women are dying from diseases that should have been prevented or treated; they are watching their children succumb to malnutrition caused by poverty and economic deprivation; they are being denied the right to go to school by their own fathers and brothers; they are being forced into prostitution, marriages etc.
It is our sacred duty to collectively speak up for women in our country Ghana and the world at large thus women who are raising children on the minimum wage, women who can't afford health care or child care, women whose lives are threatened by violence, including violence in their own homes, mothers who are fighting for good schools, safe neighborhoods, clean air and clean airwaves; for older women, some of them widows, who have raised their families and now find that their skills and life experiences are not valued in the workplace; for women who are working all night as nurses, hotel clerks and fast food cooks etc.
On this day, we must strengthen families and societies by empowering women to take greater control over their own destinies. This cannot be fully achieved unless government and all other stakeholders accept their responsibilities to protect and promote the rights of our Ghanaian women.
No woman should be forced to remain silent for fear of religious or political persecution, arrest, abuse or torture.
On a more serious note, women must love one another and be more united in fighting a common course for themselves rather than their usual quarreling, name calling etc which will only lead to the division of their front.
As a literacy organisation, we are very much worried because majority of our Ghanaian school pupils cannot read and write legibly.
The fact therefore remains that parents attitude and literacy practices have a significant influence on their children's literacy development.
Against this background, we are appealing to our Ghanaian women on this special day to:
Monitor their wards and make sure they read at least a paragraph of a story book after supper.
They should encourage their children to read at least 30minutes a day especially in the evenings.
They should include reading competitions in their children's birthday party programs.
They should encourage their children to always visit the library, go with them and also teach them on the importance of the library.
They should help their wards read short verses/poems every day by reading aloud to them.
Women should inculcate the habit of reading books to their unborn babies especially during 6months of pregnancy till they give birth.
They should buy interesting story books for their children on birthdays.
They should educate their children on the need to stop stealing government textbooks.
They should do well to provide educational materials for their children.
Wishing all women a very fruitful celebration across Ghana and beyond.