First Lady Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo has called for a gender balanced world in which both genders would be allowed to bring to bear, their unique qualities perspectives and attributes to make the world a better place.
She said “the time has come when we must recognize that balance is desirable, balance is vital, balance is humanity’s cry for greatness.”
Speaking at an event which she hosted to climax activities of the International Women’s Day (IWD), Mrs. Akufo-Addo said, to balance for better, the society must continue to develop male leaders as advocates and allies for their female counterparts.
The global theme for the IWD was” Balance for Better”, and the Day has been set aside to acknowledge and celebrates women’s achievements from the political to the social, while calling for gender equality.
It has been observed since the early 1900s and is now recognised each year on March 8.
The Day that is marked around the world with arts performances, talks, rallies, networking and media events, among others, brings together governments, women’s organisations, corporations and charities all holding one event or the other to celebrate the achievements of women worldwide.
Mrs Akufo-Addo on her part, held various activities including the Friday night event, which was attended by over 400 women across the country, and awarded some outstanding Ghanaian women who have contributed in various ways towards the development of humanity.
The women were particularly, recognized and celebrated for their contribution in the areas of Education, Health, Social entrepreneurship, Agriculture, Advocacy and Inclusion, Arts and Culture, Innovation and Outstanding Leadership.
Among the awardees was Ms Constance Ama Emefa Edjeani-Afenu, a Soldier, who received the Outstanding leadership award for being the only female Brigadier General in Ghana.
The First Lady said the stories of such outstanding women, were so encouraging and give hope and optimism to others, allowing “us to do better, to climb higher, to push harder and to believe not just in ourselves but in others.
She however, expressed concern over the imbalances in the field of business, where women continue to struggle through businesses, and called on the “Government, civil society and businesses to set standards for more balance in our business environment.
She said there was the need to speak for balance in entrepreneurship and the business environment.
“Let’s speak against imbalance. Let’s demand for spaces, let’s identify the spaces and let’s be bold to occupy the spaces and give hands up to other women.
“We must empower female entrepreneurs with training and resources, as well as the social support, if we have to do better. The women pioneers, shakers and movers in our corporate and business space, must share principles and best practices on what works”, she said.
The First Lady also urged all those in positions of privilege, to come together to make the society a balance world for both men and women, so all could enjoy the benefits of privileges.
Mrs Frema Osei-Opare, Chief of Staff, on her part encouraged women to build their faith in God and also embrace education, especially for the girl child so they could be empowered to venture into various enterprises of the job market.
She urged women to be more adventurous and enter into politics where they could help contribute and influence gender sensitive policies.
Mr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, Minister of Business Development, said the government was rolling out many programmes and interventions that would ensure that more women were given the necessary skills, capacity and financial support so they could continue to contribute to Ghana’s economy.
Also present at the event were Mrs Samira Bawumia, Wife of the Vice President, Mrs Theodora Georgina Woode, former Chief Justice, some former First and Second Ladies, Ministers and Deputy Ministers of state, Members of Parliament, Members of the Diplomatic Corp, and many women across the country.
There were also some Reverend Ministers, and gospel musicians- the Tagoe Sisters and Obaapa Christy, who lightened the occasion with soul soothing music to the dancing delight of all the women.
Earlier in the week, the First Lady met with a group of market women and street vendors on Monday, and with another group of remarkable women who are partnering her to provide skills training and mentorship to some young ladies from the Accra Municipality under the “Terema” and the “Because I want to be” initiatives of the Rebecca Foundation.