Youth educated on gender equality

Eighty eight youth drawn from across the country have converged on Accra for a two-day forum designed to counsel them to advocate for gender equality within the society and the country.

The forum, organised by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) is on the theme, “Empowering the Youth on Gender Equality for Development”.

The young people whose ages range from 14 to 18 years would be educated on the importance of gender equality (discrimination against women or females) and would be taken through discussions of instances were gender inequality was evident and how they could contribute to improving gender equality in society.

Mrs Cynthia Morrison, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, in a keynote address, stated that years of patriarchy (societal system where men dominate in everything) had left inequalities which hindered the development and participation of girls in decision making processes thereby reducing their self-worth.

“As such women and girls face structural discrimination due to the patriarchal nature of most societies and it is through events like this that we can change the narrative by educating the youth who are the future of the country,” she added.

The minister noted that the forum provided the platform to connect and strengthen young people to become change agents on gender roles and stereotypes that surrounded gender discussions.

Mrs Morrison dispelled the erroneous notion that women belonged in the kitchen and advised the young girls present to work hard at their dreams to become future leaders in the country.

Ms Erika Goldson, Deputy Country Representative of the UNFPA, said the forum was the first of its kind and was hopeful that it would be a yearly event so as to have a greater impact on the gender equality discussion.

She stated that the forum was also geared towards encouraging gender equality at the most basic level, which was the youth, so that when they grew there would not be much resistance when calls were made for more women in leadership positions.

Ms Goldson expressed the hope that the forum would be able to address the gender imbalance within society, adding that, “we hope to correct the instances of gender inequality to show that men and women can equally contribute to nation building,”

BY FREDERICK GADESE-MENSAH

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