The Central Regional Office of the Department of Gender has expressed its unwavering determination to support and empower all youths in the region through its Boys’ Clubs.
According to the Department, men have an important role in achieving gender equality by promoting women empowerment initiatives as an ally in elevating women’s access to employment, appropriate working conditions, control of economic resources and full participation in decision-making.
Mrs Thywill Eyra Kpe, Regional Director of the Department disclosed this in an address at a gathering of students, teachers and parents at the inauguration of Nyankomasi Ahenkro D/A Basic School Boys’ Club in the Assin South District of the Central Region, last Friday.
The move is geared towards creating a harmonious society for the survival and development of both genders to create a movement of empowered and capable men to render unreserved support to all women and children regardless of their ethnic, socio-economic and cultural barriers to development.
Mrs Kpe said the step was in congruent with the Department’s mandate to coordinate and ensure gender equality and equity, social protection and development of children, vulnerable and excluded and persons with disability in fulfillment of their rights to participate fully in the national development process.
She applauded four students of the school for initiating the formation of the club after being trained by the Department, adding that it was opportune to educate their peers on the numerous militating challenges derailing their progress.
“The prevalence of domestic violence remains unacceptably high with numerous consequences ranging from psychological to maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity outcomes in pregnant women”.
She said in many homes, discussing issues of sexual health, sexual relationships and sexual violence were still considered a taboo, preventing the perpetrators to be punished accordingly and called on boys and men to actively get involved in eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls.
The students were advised to be disciplined and serious with their studies, so that they could become useful citizens in the future, whilst they availed themselves of the opportunities being offered by the club to better themselves.
Mrs Kpe further called for a concerted effort by all stakeholders to reduce the rising adolescent pregnancies and child marriages in the region.
Ms Regina Amanda Hagan, midwife with the Nyankomasi Ahenkro Health Centre, took them through the changes associated with being adolescent and their consequences.
Master Owusu Asare Godwin, the president of the Boys Club, said they were inspired and supported by the Department of Gender to establish the club in their schools, at a workshop to build the capacity of some selected youth on gender and sexual based violence.
He assured that the club would among others promote academic excellence, community development and effectively scale up public education on drug abuse and the dire consequences associated with it.