Ms Princess Keteku, a second year General Arts student of Kpando Senior High School, has urged government to take necessary steps to increase girls’ digital literacy.
She said, this would help equip young people with the requisite knowledge to confidently engage in online space, access information, and create content that reflected who they were and wanted to be for accelerated development.
Ms Keteku was speaking at this year’s celebration of the International Day of the Girl Child in Ho, when she “took over” from Mr Alfred Dzikunoo, Acting Manager, Southern Programme, Influencing and Impact Area (SPIIA), Plan International Ghana to address the gathering.
She called on government to provide affordable internet access to children and prioritise setting up e-learning centres with efficient internet connectivity in all communities.
Ms Keteku said when girls were equipped with digital literacy skills, they would differentiate fake information online by deploying fact-checking tools and judge the sources.
She said digital literacy would also help significantly to build girls’ capacities and be encouraged to achieve what she called, “girls get equal agenda” and prevent them from falling prey to any cyber crimes.
She noted that there was a global task to all national governments to include digital literacy in their approach to children’s education, so they should endeavour to equip girls and all children for an increasingly digital world.
Ms Keteku called on the Regional Child Protection Committee (RCPC) to come out with a resolution to tackle cybercrime including online Gender-Based Violence so girls could be free online.
She underscored the need to involve girls’ inputs and voices in solutions to the safety of girls online to make it sustainable, saying, “we cannot be successful unless girls are empowered and supported to actively participate in girls-driven solutions.
She said not only could girls inspire innovative and creative solutions, but they could guide and contribute to future policies, research and programming, and media campaigns.
Ms Keteku asked girls to be cautious when online and avoid chatting with suspicious individuals or people they did not know and practice safe browsing.
Mr Israel Akrobortu, Volta Regional Director Department of Children said his outfit would continue to be associated with any activity to gear toward promoting the rights and well-being of children.
He said it was important for all stakeholders to come on board to find lasting solutions to child protection issues and give them the needed safety so they would grow up to become responsible citizens.
The Director charged girls to have good female role models and mentors to guide them and to be committed and dedicated in pursuing their dreams.
Mr Alfred Dzikunoo Acting Manager, Southern Programmes, Influencing and Impact Area said the day was to acknowledge the importance, power, and potential of adolescent girls and to call for opportunities to be opened for them.
He said the celebration was also used to deliberate on issues affecting girls and young women negatively and measures that could be taken to address them.
Togbe Kwaku Ayim IV, Paramount Chief of Ziavi Traditional Area, called for stiffer punishment for people who impregnated young girls.
There were solidarity messages from Ghana Education Service, Ghana NGOs Coalition on the Right of the Child, Ghana NGOs Coalition in Health, all calling for the safety and protection of the girl child.
This year’s celebration was on the theme: “Girls Get Equal Freedom Online.”