Mr Ron Strikker, the Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, has called on traditional authorities to do away with obnoxious cultural practices and beliefs that inhibit the growth and development of its human resource.
He said the country will make a sustained progress if it made conscious efforts to fully tap into the human resource potential of its citizens regardless of gender, colour, or body deformities.
The Ambassador, who was speaking at this year’s Girls’ Advocacy Alliance Project’s (GAAP) annual meeting held at Elmina on Tuesday, urged traditional authorities and regional leaders to lead the relentless crusade towards achieving girls’ rights to help unearth their talents.
The meeting was attended by a consortium of NGOs implementing the GAAP including Plan International-Ghana, Defence for Child International-Ghana and the National Coalition of NGOs Against the Rights of the Child as the implementing of GAAP.
The programme offered the participants the privilege to re-strategize and reorganize themselves to effectively empower girls and women to make the right decisions that affect them.
The participants also deliberated on changes in the international, regional and teething national issues that have affected women and children such as illegal mining (galamsey), culture and tradition, girls’ empowerment, among others.
This is geared towards its vision to significantly stem gender-based violence, discrimination and other forms of sexual violence early and forced marriages, forced labour, child trafficking and improve access to education for children.
Mr Strikker said traditional authorities were the custodians of cultural values and norms some of which sometimes contribute to inhibiting the full realisation of the economic and educational rights of females.
To reverse the trend, he stressed the need for the government, Civil Society Organisations and other stakeholders to coordinate their activities in the fight against those abuses to pave the way for the active participation of women and girls in developing their full potentials.
Ms Fadimatu Alianchar, Country Director of Plan Ghana, called for increased financial and personal commitments to protect the rights and freedoms of women to contribute effectively to national development.
She lauded the efforts of Netherlands High Commission for supporting the effort to end the emerging concerns of human rights abuses and gender imbalances meted out to girls and children.
Contributing to the deliberations, some participants at the programme urge all stakeholders to conscientize students, especially young girls to take consider technical and vocational education which created jobs and self employment.
They urged young girls to believe in themselves, learn from the experiences of industrious women in society and not to fall prey to sexual demands from men.
The 4-year GAA project, spans from (2016-2020) with funding from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DMFA).
It seeks to empower young girls and women to know their rights to help emancipate them from all forms of abuses.