State actors and civil society organizations have been urged to step up efforts to promote the rights and welfare of children in the country.
The call was made by various participants at a regional level stakeholders’ forum to commemorate the 2021 International Day of the Child held in Kumasi.
The forum was organised by the Defence for Children (DCI) in collaboration with Rights and Responsibilities Initiatives Ghana and Erudite Women Empowerment Foundation (EWEF) as part of the ‘She Leads Project’.
The project which seeks to increase sustained influence of girls and young women in decision- making and the transformation of gender norms in formal and non-formal institutions is being implemented in the Ashanti, Greater Accra, Central, Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions.
The forum, therefore, sought to bring together various actors under the ‘She Leads Project’ and representatives of state institutions with the mandate to promote the rights of children, to discuss issues affecting their development.
It was also to create a platform for children and young people to raise their voices on issues that matter to their generation with specific focus on girls and young women’s participation in leadership at the local, regional and national levels.
Participants were drawn from girls-led organisations, girls groups, state agencies in charge of the rights and welfare of girls and children, civil society organisations, youth advocates, champions of change, children’s parliament and the media.
The theme chosen for the event was, Better Future for Every Child.”
Representatives from various institutions and civil society organisations took turns to make statements on their activities in the areas of child protection, welfare and rights.
Ms. Joana Anokyewaa, Programmes Manager of DCI-Ghana said the presence of the participants affirmed their undoubting commitment to the rights of the child and young women.
She said they had a responsibility to advocate for the rights of children and contribute to ending child marriages, child trafficking, defilement and all forms of abuse targeted at children as stakeholders.
The ‘She Leads Project’, she said, was also aimed at building the capacity of girls and young women to actively participate in decision-making at all levels to ensure that their interests were not left out of policies and programme meant to improve the lives of the citizenry.
This, she said, required the involvement of all stakeholders to address the deep-rooted norms that continued to militate against the progress of girls and young women.