Gender and Leadership Forum has been organized for students at the Kpone Community Senior High School, Greater Accra Region to empower the students, especially the adolescent girls to challenge themselves to greater heights in society.
It also served as an advocacy platform to equip adolescents to understand the tenets of gender equality and the empowerment of women and young people.
Speaking at the forum which was organized by the Women Media and Change (WOMEC), Miss Abigail Edem Hunu, a Gender Equality Advocate explained that part of the advocacy in today’s modern world is to build in the adolescents, especially the boys’ new sense of world and family culture.
“Gone are the days when basic household chores, were classified as girls’ mandate, now the trend of the modern business world has changed those dynamics, household chores has become a shared responsibility for boys and girls which also serves as a preparatory ground for building working ethics in the children,” she said.
Ms Hunu revealed that in the current economic dynamics most men have moved away from the old paradigm of ‘housewife’ now men want a working wife to support the family.
She asked the students, “are you ready to marry your partner who stays at home without working? the response was negative; adding that “in situations, where the entire family depended on the income of one person either father or mother there would be pressure on that income”.
She told them that was the reason organizations like WOMEC were creating the platform to educate young boys and girls to support each and not solely say that one particular responsibility is for gender.
Ms Hunu advised adolescents to have a plan, be focused, determined, and work towards the life they want to live in the future; “Work towards the life you want tomorrow, and you will be comfortable without needing the help of any other person”.
She urged the adolescent to always have self-respect because that was the only way another person would also give them the maximum respect and to be confident in themselves.
Dr. Charity Binka, WOMEC Executive Director in her remarks said the forum was organized under the initiative dubbed “Girls Turning Point” which is a project being implemented as a gender empowerment and mentorship programme for adolescent girls and young women.
“The Turning Point Project is targeting over 500 adolescent schoolgirls to empower them to speak up and stand for their rights through the formation of Gender clubs in 10 schools,” she said
She added that for Ghana to develop, boys, girls, men, and women must be allowed to contribute to the developmental issues in the country.
Dr Binka said research conducted by WOMEC among children showed that they valued good leadership as a key to development and the education of girls was equally important as that of the boys.
She stated that training and re-socializing adolescent girls and boys on gender would help them to reject gender norms that perpetuate abuse, discrimination against girls, and other atrocities in society when they grow up.