Mrs. Florence Larbi, Chief Operating Officer, Jospong Group, has called for deliberate efforts towards investments in women to make a world of difference.
“Investing in women can make a world of difference, for women themselves, their families, communities and whole nations,” she said, adding that such investment yielded higher productivity and faster economic growth, which reduced poverty.
She has also called for their involvement in critical decision making for national development.
She said women inclusion in leadership was not to push men aside but to maintain a healthy balance in their crafting of solutions for challenges of the world, which affected women more.
Mrs. Larbi made the call at the launch of the Women’s Association of University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) (WAUPSA) on Wednesday.
“The era of women taking a backseat in leadership due to gender ascribed challenges is waning. It is in this liberating period that UPSA women are called upon to impact their world as mentors, mothers, sisters and role models to the younger generation – many of whom are students under your care.
“From the foregoing, a lot of your capacities have been identified and also the reasons why these capacities must be leveraged,” she said.
WAUPSA seeks to develop the potential of women of the University by supporting UPSA women to reach their full potential, receive emotional and psychological support and improve their general welfare.
The Association will also be relevant in advocating as well as championing informative policies that affect women to support and develop their leadership skills.
It will be guided by the UPSA core values of integrity, respect and service and provide mentorship to female students.
A committee of women drawn from various departments and units constituted a nine-member board to collaborate and actualise the dream.
She urged women in leadership to commit to mentoring the younger female generations to follow their footsteps and become greater leaders for the country.
“On this occasion of the launch of the WAUPSA, I encourage UPSA women to make a positive difference in the lives of the students and the community of scholars as a whole so the next generation can have an anchor of hope, resilience, strength of character and principled leadership to lean on.
“This is our service to God and country,” she said.
Speaking on the theme: “Leveraging the Capacities of Women in Academia for Leadership and Development”, Dr Mrs. Helen Arkorful, Dean, Evening School, UPSA, said the enormous contribution of women today to the development of the nation was undisputed traversing from the corporate world to the cradle.
She said UPSA would provide the platform to harness, nurture and develop the capabilities of women both young and old for them to reach their optimum.
“Although this group is for women, we also call on our abled men to support us to realise our dreams,” she said.
In a speech read on behalf of Dr Koryoe Anim-Wright, Registrar, UPSA, Dr Mrs. Fidelis Quansah, Dean Faculty of Management Studies, UPSA, said women’s association played a key role in ensuring gender equality, empowerment of women and that WAUPSA had been formed to nurture and mentor women so they would be empowered to gain self-confidence to take leadership positions in their respective careers.
“Such an initiative will be guided by the University’s shared values of integrity, respect and service and will transcend to the women’s student leadership,” she said.
Hailing the achievements of women in recent times, Dr Mrs Quansah cited Professor Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana and Professor Mrs. Rita Akosua Dickson, the Vice-Chancellor for Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology for their tremendous contributions to their universities.
Professor Abigail Opoku Mensah, Director, Centre for International Education and Collaboration, UPSA, expressed the delight of women coming together under one umbrella to be one, be there for one another and be ready to change the negative perception that “Women are their enemies.”
“Nobody can break us when we become one, so having this association is very key for we the women at UPSA,” she said.