The Ghana Chapter of the African Women Leaders Network (AWLN) was on Wednesday launched in Accra to propel women’s leadership across diverse range of backgrounds, in the transformation of Africa into a peaceful and inclusive continent.
Launched by the Minister Designate of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hajia Lariba Zuweira Abudu, the event was on the theme: “Achieving gender equality and inclusion for the Africa we want.”
It is the 31st chapter opened in Ghana to enhance women’s participation in national development, peace and security.
The network which is open to all is anchored on six pillars namely: political participation, peace and security, financial inclusion, young women’s leadership, empowering rural women and social mobilisation in line with the African Union Agenda 2063 and the United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.
The Minister Designate, speaking at the event bemoaned low participation of women at all levels of decision-making in Ghana despite the fact that they constituted more than half of the country’s population.
She said low participation of women in peace and security, economic and political governance was as a result of the patriarchy or male dominance of Ghanaian cultural norms, a key aspect of the Ghanaian social system that recognised the woman’s role and status as inferior to those of the men in almost all aspects of social, political and economic life.
Hajia Abudu encouraged more women to venture into politics at the district, regional and national level to bridge the decision-making gap in Ghana’s governance processes.
She also lauded AWLN Ghana for prioritising economic inclusion among its pillars and assured her outfit’s support to ensure the Network achieve its objective.
“Economic empowerment is key to achieving gender equality and economic growth. I will therefore entreat you to engage civil society organisations as important stakeholders to help in the fight against women and girls discrimination for the promotion of gender inclusion and equality,” she added.
The Chairperson, Interim Steering Committee of AWLN Ghana Chapter, Dr Charity Binka said women participation in national discourse was key to national development and called for more women to focus attention on the district assemblies’ positions since that was the gateway to parliament.
She said AWLN Ghana would mobilise Ghanaian women and women leaders to play significant roles in the transformation of Ghana and Africa at large.
“We will also influence dialogue on issues affecting women across Ghana and Africa as well as support Ghanaian women political leaders and leadership at national and local levels to enable women pursue their leadership goals,” Dr Binka stated.
The UN Resident Coordinator for Ghana, Mr Charles Abani pledged UN’s support in the promotion of women participation in decision-making process and leadership roles saying “that is the priority of UN as reflected in the UN sustainable Development Goal.”
BY VIVIAN ARTHUR