Two young female alumni and beneficiaries of Plan International Ghana, Ms Rahama Issah and Ms Roberta Quansah, both with science background, have assumed responsibilities of the Country Lead of the AstraZeneca Ghana Office.
Among the responsibilities executed on behalf of AstraZeneca were commissioning of nebulisation centres for hospitals in the Greater Accra Region including; the Police Hospital, Cantonment and the LEKMA Hospital, Teshie, representing AstraZeneca at meetings with AstraZeneca Africa team and various medical stakeholders.
Mrs Christiana Asante-Nkansah, a Communications Specialist, Plan International Ghana, explained that the initiative dubbed: “Girls Belong Here”, was to expose the girls to challenging leadership roles that they aspired to occupy in future and build their capacity to fight for positions within male-dominated business space.
Last year, she explained that one of Plan’s alumni took over the role of the Australian High Commissioner and assisted to commission some projects, attend high-level meetings, and have media engagements.
Speaking at a virtual meeting, Madam Barbara Nel, the Country President, Africa Cluster, AstraZeneca, called on young ladies to have self-confidence to be able to attain leadership positions to contribute to sustainable development.
She said women deserved equal privileges to succeed in life and called on all stakeholders in Ghana and beyond to give equal opportunities to women as they gave to their male counterparts.
Mr Mawuli Atiemo, the Country Lead, AstraZeneca Office, said everyone had a critical role to play in spreading the message and objectives of the “Girls Belong Here” project.
“We pledge to use our voices and to work together, with communities, government and industries, to shine a spotlight on the need for gender equality in our business and in our community. We recognize the need for continued opportunities for girls, for better health outcomes,” he said.
Ms Issah said it was as a result of some cultural practices and perceptions especially in Africa that women could not play active part in leadership roles including businesses that deterred women and girls from contending for leadership positions in many facets of life.
“With the way women are underestimated in societies, it makes it difficult for a woman to approve her fellow woman who comes out to challenge the male counterpart over position.
“For instance, in students politics, I was the first female to contest for the Students Representative Council President position, but unfortunately the guys and most of the ladies were against me” she bemoaned.
Ms Issah suggested that the barriers preventing many women and girls from taking up leadership positions be broken by sensitizing the entire public to know the importance of giving females top most positions as well.
“If a woman comes out for a top position, I think women should also come out collectively to support her, by educating themselves to understand how important when a woman gets to the top, it is.”
Ms Quansah, also reiterated the lack of self-confidence among capable girls and women who admired leadership positions.
She appealed that the “Girls Belong Here” project be extended to all villages in the country to be of benefit to more girls.
“Women naturally are caring and ready to assist always, so when given leadership positions they can do it better as compared to males,” she added.