October 24, 2019 4:11 pm

As part of efforts to implement policies for the promotion of gender mainstreaming across all sectors, the Department of Gender under the auspices of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection have held a community durbar for the people of Zinye in the Wa East District of the Upper West Region to mark the International Day for the Girl Child.
The celebration was held at the Zinye D/A JHS School Park under the theme “Balance for Better: Gender Equality for Accelerated Development.”

The overall aim of the durbar was to provide the forum to engage parents, teachers, traditional and opinion leaders to promote Gender Equality by raising awareness against negative traditional practices that affects the girl child.

Chairman for the occasion, Naa Adam Salia urged all parents to be mindful about the future of their children especially the girl child. He however made a pledge on behalf of the Traditional Authority and opinion leaders in Zinye to ensure that the girl child stays in school.

Madam Nabiebakye Cynthia who represented the Wa East District Chief Executive in her address said women play a vital role in the society of economic and social development of which their contribution is complimented if given the necessary education.
She said that, girls from the Zinye community have the potential of transforming the Zinye community and the whole of Wa if given the right education and training.

Madam Nabiebakye Cynthia appealed to parents, family members, stakeholders and all present to join hands to eliminate and end child marriage and migration as these helplines are some of the causes that leads to girls dropping out of school in the Zinye community.

Madam Aishetu Ibrahim, the Wa East District Director of Education in her statement said, the girl child needs to be empowered through education in order to acquire knowledge to become better and responsible in order to contribute their quota to the development of the society.

She urged parents to allow the girl child to attend school.
The Wa East District Director of Education lamented about the fact that in some communities in the Wa East district, no girl has completed Junior High School for the past 25years. This she said is worrisome. She urged parents to allow the girl child to attend school rather than giving them out for early marriage.
Madam Aishetu Ibrahim passionately appealed to pupils to take their studies seriously as education is the bedrock of knowledge.

Madam Annika Allman, a representative from the Canadian High Commission in her speech said girls and women cannot play their role effectively in the family and communities if they are not supported and encouraged to acquire knowledge through education.

She advised parents, traditional authorities and especially pupils to pursue their education and also remain in school in order to achieve the best of their ability.
The Acting Director of the Department of Gender, Dr. Mrs Comfort Asare in her keynote address said the promotion of gender equality is fundamental to the achievement of sustainable development. She added that, a country’s social economic development is fundamentally linked to ensuring that women and men, girls and boys enjoy equal treatment, have access to equal opportunity and actions in all spheres of life.

The Acting Director further stressed that, Ghana as a country has created institutional structures like the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to achieve a nationally aspired objective for the promotion of gender equality and empowerment of the women. In addition, the need for critical attention for the girl child cannot be overemphasized considering the global call for women empowerment as an effective tool for total development.

Dr. Comfort Asare stated that, government’s efforts are evident in existing policies, plans and programmes to ensure the promotion and protection of the human rights of the women and girls.
She added that, there must be a need to eliminate child marriages in the various communities in the country. This she said will allow the girl child the opportunity to thrive and fulfill her potentials.

The Acting Director of the Department of Gender urged the pupils especially girls to study hard in order to become valuable like the Chief of Staff and the Electoral Commissioner. “Allowing women to succeed makes one a better man”. She stressed.

The people of Zinye were enthused about the community durbar, they called for frequent engagements in the future. They also pledged to ensure that, the girl child is given the necessary support to achieve her potentials.

Source: MoGCSP