The national chapter of the African Women Forum (AWF), a movement committed to the enhancement of women’s empowerment and inclusion, was launched in Accra last Wednesday.
The forum aims at making women issues a greater part of policy formulation in the country and Africa as a whole.
The Founder and International President of the forum, Ms Naima Korchi, said women had the power to make the world a better place and that could be realised if women were empowered to champion leadership positions in governance, security, politics and other sectors.
“We are the actors of our country and continent. Our future, our identity should be recognised,” she stated.
Ms Korchi noted that women’s advocacy role was very low or absent in the country, following the stereotyping of women as being weak and inferior.
She said many women in key government positions were doing their best, and, therefore, urged women not to sit on the fence but join forces to advocate better life and opportunities while preserving their tradition, identity and dignity.
Ms Korchi stated that the AWF would establish its West Africa regional office in Ghana to advocate and push for the empowerment of women.
The President of the Ghana Chapter of AWF, Ms Rita Akosua Awatey, urged women in leadership positions to champion the cause of the less privileged, particularly children, some of whom were on the street with others being trafficked to foreign countries for child labour and prostitution.
“We want to commit ourselves to the rights and security of women and our children, give support to women already in key positions, and advocate more to be added, as well as take initiatives to help ourselves,” she said.
According to Ms Awatey, although women had been marginalised in decision-making processes over the years, the situation was now improving.
She, however, encouraged women to work hard to ensure that their voices would not only be heard in the corridors of power, but they would also be included in both the decision-making and implementation processes.
Touching on child trafficking, a former Chief Executive Officer of the La Dade-Kotopon Municipal Assembly, Ms Rita Odoley Sowah, said there was the need to identify the issues of child trafficking in order to provide permanent solutions and also ensure that children were free from abuse.
She said women empowerment could be successful through education and, therefore, entreated parents and guardians to take advantage of the Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education programme (FCUBE) to enrol their children in school.
“We need the collaboration of the government to realise women inclusiveness and empowerment,” Ms Sowah, who is also a board member of the AWF, further indicated.