A Deputy Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Mrs Benita Okity-Duah, has challenged women in the country to work hard to break the glass ceiling that had kept some of them under subordination.
She observed that in most African societies, including Ghana, girls were trained to make good wives and mothers and were expected to run the home, but the glass ceiling (an imaginary barrier that stops women or other groups from getting the best jobs, although there are no official rules to prevent them from getting these jobs) kept them under subordination.
Mrs Okity-Duah was speaking at the fourth graduation of the Marg Hair and Beauty Academy in Accra last Saturday during which 11 students graduated and received diploma in cosmetology.
She encouraged the large number of girls who were unable to complete senior high school to take advantage of skill-based second cycle training institutions that would provide opportunities for them to acquire knowledge and skills in a chosen career that would enable them to be financially independent.
She stated that the ministry would associate itself with private institutions whose work complemented its efforts to create a harmonious society where every person, regardless of sex or individual characteristics, enjoyed equal rights and opportunities.
Mrs Okity-Duah said even though a lot had been done, that phenomenon had not seen the expected change.
“It is long overdue for us to move away from the notion that the place of the woman is the kitchen.
“Many women in Ghana and across the world have already presented themselves as worthy examples for emulation in various fields. The challenge is for you and I to also prove our worth in breaking the glass ceiling that has kept many women and girls in socio-economic subordination,” she said.
Mrs Okity-Duah explained that there was evidence of widespread gender disparity in enrolment and retention of girls and boys at all levels in the school system, especially as one climbed the educational ladder.
According to her, a large number of girls (as compared to boys), after completing junior high school, were unable to continue to senior high school owing to various factors, including human trafficking, early and forced marriages, teenage pregnancy and the preference to the education of the boy-child.
Mrs Okity-Duah said the ministry ,through the Department of Gender Skills and with support from the African Development Bank, had developed new training modules for vocational training in the country.
She said under the Gender Responsive Skills and Community Development Project of the Department of Gender, some teaching materials and equipment to improve the standards of vocational training had been provided, adding that about 600 girls had been supported to undertake vocational courses.
Mrs Okity-Duah expressed worry about the unregulated practice in the cosmetology sector and said that must be addressed to ensure health and ethical standards for public safety.
She asked the graduates to further build their capacities and position themselves to take advantage of the growing opportunities in the industry.
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