The National Youth Authority (NYA) in Upper West has inaugurated a network of young women who are to be empowered to champion gender inequality issues and help remove barriers to their active participation in decision-making process.
The Authority is working assiduously to ensure continuous development and training of the youth as well as ensure public education to overcome negative cultural practices undermining the growth and progress of girls in the region.
It therefore initiated the youth-led group to empower women and girls to muster courage and take active participation in decision-making processes at the local and national levels of the society.
The Acting Upper West Regional Director of NYA, Mr Archibald Donkoh,who was addressing several girls in Wa said it was the determination of NYA to facilitate the process of addressing negative cultural practices that impeded the progress of young women.
The event, which was on the theme: “Engaging and empowering young women to champion issues that affected them,”was organised by NYA in partnership with Plan International in the Upper West Region. Mr Donkoh said the youth authority strongly believed development of young women could best be done through formation of networks and training. Ghana as a member of the United Nations (UN) was enjoined to work towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which calls on member states to end poverty and ensure prosperity. “The young women in this regard should be well positioned to facilitate the attainment of the SDGs and the need for the formation of this network,” Mr Donkoh said. Mr Eric Ayaba, the Upper West Regional Programme Unit Manager of Plan International Ghana said, “There are a lot of issues preventing women from contributing their quota to the development of the nation,” which he added an empowered network of girls would help address those issues. He appealed to stakeholders including traditional leaders, and development partners to be on board and consider gender perspectives in their work by engaging young women. The Maalong Pognaa for Nandom Traditional Area, Pognaa Cathy Bob-MilliarYelkabei, said there was the need to work towards the empowerment of young women to effectively play their roles as partners to men.
“Women should be assertive and not aggressive in fighting for their rights to partnership with men and to re-orient societies towards the reform that will begin to see as women and men as equal partners,” she said.
She advised young women to be on their own and avoid depending on men partners for living which usually resulted in pre-marital and teenage pregnancies and eventually leading to falling standards women education.
“We therefore need the collaboration of all and sundry and more especially you the very young ones and future generation of our adult society to work assiduously towards the upliftment of our women for the betterment of our societies,” she added.