Mr Alhassan Abdul Ganiyu, a technical advisor for Youth, Gender and Advocacy at the Youth Empowerment for Life (YEFL) Ghana, a non-governmental organisation in Tamale in the Northern Region, has encouraged young people to develop interest in advocacy and campaigns aimed at bridging gender and inequality gaps in the educational sector.
He indicated that even though females were disadvantaged in terms of inclusion in decision making and assumption of leadership positions in educational and other learning spaces, many of them were not interested in speaking up for themselves or to campaign for their own welfare.
“However, since the issues are about them, if they are trained on how to demand for equality in areas where inequality has become a norm, young people can make great impact because the issues are basically about them,” he said.
Mr Ganiyu said this when he opened a two-day empowerment workshop by YEFL-Ghana for 27 young people in youth networks in the Savannah, Oti, North-East and Northern Regions respectively on developing effective campaign strategies aimed at bridging gender and inequality gaps in learning spaces in the four regions.
The participants, who were made up of 13 males and 14 females, were taken through various steps in creating campaign strategies as well as action plans towards improving access of females to learning opportunities and leadership positions in learning spaces.
Dubbed “Campaign Strategy Co-Creation for Gender Transformative Education”, the participants were expected to develop campaign messages aimed at bridging inequality gaps as well as lead various campaigns against inequality.
Mr Ganiyu said in order to develop effective campaign strategies, it was relevant to identify specific problems that needed attention, adding that defining the problem and understanding the factors underpinning it facilitated the development of need-based campaign strategies.
“There is also the need to identify the specific issues around the problem that you seek to address, your target audience as well as the appropriate channels within which to carry your messages to the audience,” he stated.
He mentioned that the training was expected to empower the young people to lead the campaign aimed at bridging the inequality gap in learning spaces.
In this regard, the participants were put into groups to identify key areas in the education sector where gender inequality had been perpetuated, and the participants came out with issues such as gender gaps in leadership positions in basic schools, inadequate technical institutions in the four regions, low female representation in decision making spaces and forced marriages that truncate the education and training of females.
The issues were later merged into two broad topics, and listed as‘campaign on funding Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions’ and ‘the adoption and establishment of Girls Model School Systems’ across the country’.
Making a presentation on behalf of her group, Seidu Hunaisahtu said a girls’ model school was practically a system of education that dealt with the psychological, cognitive and natural development of the girl-child.
She mentioned that girls who were empowered and given the requisite opportunity performed better and were confident enough to compete with their male counterparts
FROM LYDIA DARLINGTON FORDJOUR