First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo has unveiled the ‘Unifying Campaign’, aimed at championing gender equality, and empowering women and girls to play a pivotal role in the nation’s development.
The campaign launch, held in Accra yesterday, is part of a broader effort to accelerate gender equality across Africa, initiated by the Organisation of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD).
The First Lady emphasised the need for collective action to ensure that women and girls have equal access to essential resources and are safeguarded from gender-based violence. She urged policymakers to expedite the execution of existing policies within ministries and agencies, embedding gender equality as a central element in national strategies and programmes.
“The fight for gender equality is an age-old one. Sadly, it is a fight that has not been won. Even though the global gender gap has been narrowing, we need a lot more urgency and action to make a significant impact,” she stated.
Mrs. Akufo-Addo highlighted that when women and girls are provided with equitable access to healthcare, education, skills, and safety, their contributions to the nation’s advancement become immeasurable.
She, therefore, called on social media influencers to leverage their platforms to amplify the cause of gender equity. She stated: “To all influencers, your voices go far. Use your platforms to promote gender equity in health, economic empowerment and livelihoods, education, decision making, and development as a whole”.
The Minister of Gender, Children, and Social Protection, Lariba Zuweira Abudu, lauded the First Lady’s unwavering commitment to empowering women and children. The Minister commended her contributions to healthcare infrastructure, particularly in the areas of Pediatric Intensive Care Units (PICUs) and Mother and Baby Units.
Reflecting on the impact of the Free Education policy, Zuweira Abudu shared, “My Ministry has already started the implementation of this all-important gender equity call. With the help of the free SHS policy, most girls are now enrolled in schools”.
A Deputy Minister of Health, Tina Gifty Naa Mensah, also pledged her Ministry’s resolute support for the campaign. She stressed the importance of involving more women in decision-making roles and championing the advancement of qualified women into leadership positions.
For his part, the Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, commended the First Lady’s initiative, underscoring the transformative power of the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy. He noted that this policy had allowed numerous girls to access education, thereby enhancing their life prospects.
Dr Adutwum also highlighted the establishment of a STEM-focused school, which is anticipated to bridge the gender gap in the field of science education.
Present during the event included Prof. Amin Alhassan, Director General of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation; Dr Kyeremeh Atuahene, Director General of Ghana Aids Commission; Dania Haruna, Presidential Advisor on Gender; Dr. Emmily Naphambo, Deputy Country Representative of UNFPA, among others.