By: Ewoenam Kpodo | Voltaonlinegh |
Gender Desk Officer, South Tongu District Assembly in the Volta Region, Hellen Dzide has appealed to chiefs and opinion leaders to support aspiring assembly women in their respective electoral areas to win the elections.
Madam Dzide said the aspiring assembly women needed the right support and encouragement in the upcoming elections to win in order to champion the cause of women/girls.
The gender desk officer said women were already disadvantaged as many assemblies barely had women assembly members, an indication that the interests of women (who are in majority in terms of population) had been neglected making mockery of good governance.
In her presentation on the advantages of women empowerment and gender equality on the individual, the family and society, she said the absence or less number of women in the local assemblies, amounted to inequality as issues relating to men would take prominence over that of women.
She spoke on Wednesday, September 11 at a day’s forum on male engagement for gender equality and development organised by Department of Gender, Volta Region with funding support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) at Bakpa, Central Tongu to deliberate on issues of unequal opportunities for men and women and proffer solutions to them.
The forum chaired by chief of Dadobe/Wute, Togbe Akliku Ahorney II concluded that boys and girls should be given equal opportunities to develop their potentials with particular attention paid to girls so that their total development (considered critical to society’s development) would not suffer due to teenage pregnancy and its attendant consequences.
District Imam, Mohammed Issah suggested that gender stereotypes be tackled from the base and called on the Ministry of Education to ensure publishers of textbooks for pupils make conscious efforts to avoid portraying girls/women as just domestic workers with men occupying important positions because such depictions only perpetuate perceptions that “women are lesser.”
Mr. Issah agreed with an earlier submission from a participant that schools must make the right changes to allow girls to compete senior/school prefect’s position (currently the sole reserve for boys) to motivate them to aspire for leadership positions in future.
According to him, these little things indirectly contributed to women’s reluctance to assume leadership roles to make meaningful contributions to society because they grew up thinking that men were best suited for such positions.
The forum which had chiefs, assembly members, religious groups, headmen and boys groups as participants was on the theme, “Well Trained Girls and Boys Make a Developed Society”.