General News of Sunday, 16 December 2018
Madam Frema Osei-Opare, the Chief of Staff has assured women that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was keen on promoting women into public leadership positions.
This is seen by the number of women appointees he had made into his government and therefore called on those appointed by him to work hard to justify the confidence reposed in them.
By so doing, it would encourage the President to do more, she said.
She was speaking at the soiree organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration for women appointees held in Accra at the weekend.
It was the first time Ghanaian female ambassadors accredited abroad, Ghanaian female ministers and Members of Parliament (MP)had taken part in the event, aside their female counterpart ambassadors accredited to Ghana.
Madam Osei-Opare, the Guest of Honour said that though women were of the majority in the country few were part of the decision making process.
Those that had interest in public office were mostly hindered by political illiteracy, name calling, stereotyping, resource constraint, bureaucracy, among others, she explained, adding that Ghana, despite debates and other efforts to push for gender equality was not making significant head way.
The trend can only change if stakeholders including development partners, civil society organisations and political parties helped closed the gap, the Chief of Staff noted.
Madam Osei-Opare congratulated the women, for the good fight to get to the top, and proven worthy to stay at the top and for that matter at the helm of affairs.
With courage, resilience and determination, you would help break the societal jinx placed on females, thereby motivating girls to emulate you, she counselled.
The Chief of Staff urged them to continue in engagements and advocacies to attain gender equality, women/girls’ empowerment by 2020 as contained in the Strategic Development Goal five.
“You can do it, set your minds to do it,” she stated, stressing that 2019 would provide them a bigger space to operate.
She commended Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchway for helping bring women from diverse backgrounds, with rich experiences and skills for interaction and celebrate both individual and collective successes.
Madam Ayorkor Botchway was grateful to host Madam Osei-Opare the first female Chief of Staff in Ghana and in the ECOWAS region, female Chief Executives, Ministers, MPs, women ambassadors from Columbia, Turkey, South Africa, Brazil, Spain, Mexico and others.
She said, hosting female ambassadors had become a tradition at the end of the year but this year’s it roped in more women to create opportunity for them to interact and network as well as further female empowerment, equality opportunities, girl-child education and many challenges facing females.
The gathering was treated with good music from local, foreign, old, contemporary and live ones from an all-female band called “Lipstick, which sent all the prominent women and the few men among them on their feet”.
Mrs Francess Virginia Anderson, Sierra Leonean Ambassador, Madam Genevieve A. Kennedy, Liberian Ambassador and Madam Diana Acconcia, the European Union Ambassador, speaking to the Ghana News Agency said, the event had given them time to break away from the boredom which comes with official duty.