Mr Prosper Kpankyaano, the Nadowli-Kaleo District Social Welfare Officer, has appealed to traditional authorities to remove cultural barriers affecting women’s participation in leadership positions.
He said some women were capable, ready and willing to work in leadership positions but belonged to communities with cultures that frowned on women leadership, hence their inability to offer themselves to work for their communities’ development.
Mr Kpankyaano made the appeal during a community forum at Duong in the Nadowli-Kaleo District of the Upper West Region.
It was organised by the Equal Rights and Opportunities for Women and Girls (EROP) Project Support Team after receiving training from the Africa Centre for Human Rights and Sustainable Development to champion the issues at the community level.
Mr Kpankyaano said women formed majority of the country’s population and development issues affected them the most.
“For them to become beneficiaries and not victims of development, they should take up leadership roles to contribute their bid to the development of their communities and country at large,” he said.
Touching on why women could make good leaders, Mr Kpankyaano said women were gifted to multitask, were empathetic, great listeners, nurturers, team players and communicated better than men.
He said women were courageous, committed, caring, and of good character, thereby making them better managers of development resources, hence should be given the opportunity to lead.
Mr Kpankyaano said women also needed to prepare themselves to overcome the fear and intimidation, coupled with the lack of confidence in some cases to be able to lead.
Mr Abdul-Rauf Alhassan, the Jirapa Municipal Director of the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice, said it took both men and women to build a community, hence the need for women to be empowered to play their role effectively.
“It is not right for us to refer to women as the majority in terms of population and yet we always point to them as the most vulnerable”, he said, and asked men to empower women to complement them in the development of their communities.
Mr Alhassan took the people through their basic human rights and responsibilities and urged them to eschew domestic violence and report such cases to the appropriate authorities.
Pignaa Rosemary Banzie Monwilma, the Queen mother of Duong Community, and a Nurse, appealed to girls to take their education seriously whilst calling on parents not to discriminate against their daughters when enrolling their children in school.
Naa Domasus Awoala Towari II, the Chief of Duong, thanked the organisers for the sensitisation and said the role of women in community development must be relooked to address the barriers affecting their participation in leadership and decision making.
The EROP project, funded by the Dutch Embassy in Ghana and implemented in partnership with GH Alliance, Africa Centre for Human Rights and Sustainable Development, and Women in Need, seeks to ensure that women and girls in Ghana realised their human rights and utilise opportunities to better their lot.