March 5, 2019 2:40 pm

The St. Thomas Acquinas Senior High School (SHS) on Monday 4th March 2019, emerged winners of an inter-schools’ debate on the topic: “Balance for Better: Bridging Gender Inequality is a Farce”.

The debate, which was organised by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP), was part of the activities scheduled for the commemoration of this year’s International Women’s Day.

The winners beat their opponents St Mary’s SHS by scoring 21.2 points as against the 20.8 points of their co-debaters, and was awarded the gold trophy, while their challengers took the silver.

The St. Thomas Acquinas SHS, being the proponents of the topic, were represented by Gerhard M. K. Agbozo, Nana Kwame Ofori Heneku and Jake Asare.

They raised an argument that with all the available policies and programmes aimed at ensuring gender equality, one could only say that the issues had been glamorised by women for far too long, hence calling for the bridging of gender inequality was a farce.

The team however raised points that admitted to male dominance, and the fact that men would naturally not want to relinquish power easily, therefore it was required of women to work extra hard to break cultural and religious barriers that impeded upon their progress.

They however said although true, there had been heightened advocacy on the need for gender equality over the years, which had yielded improved levels of female inclusion in diverse areas including decision making, education and health, but women have failed to take advantage of the opportunities created for them.

They said women often faced challenges with balancing the huge tasks and responsibilities that were often added onto their genetic assignments, leading to poor family upkeep, and though that the advocates of gender equality must focus on empowering females to take advantage of the opportunities available for better development.

The opponents from the St. Mary’s SHS on the other side kicked against the arguments of the proponents referring to their points as “fallacies of hasty generalisation”.

The St. Mary’s team which was represented by Joelle Eghan, Faustina Boakye and Habibatu Abdul-Aziz, did their best to re-battle the points of the proponents, citing instances where women had performed creditable in management and leadership positions compared to their male counterparts.

They said gender equality was very key owing to the huge number of women for formed a greater percentage of the small-scale business population globally.

The pointed out that gender equality was not a war of sexes, but a correction to the misappropriation of God’s order that placed both male and females at par, to serve as helpmates for development of their environment.

Hon. Gifty Twum-Ampofo, the Deputy Minister of Education, later presented a certificate of participation to each of the debaters, and congratulated them for availing themselves to champion the advocacy on bridging gender inequality in Ghana.

She said the purpose of the debate, was to create a better understanding of gender equality among society, so as to encourage its implementation across all sectors.

She said although gender equality was not all about women, it was obvious that the points raised by the winning team reflected the current situation on the ground, with perceptions though there were numerous opportunities opened to females, they had failed to take due advantage of them to improve upon their situations.

Hon. Twum-Ampofo admitted that although there had been major advances in gender equality, negative cultural and religious still impeded on the full success, hence the need to bridge the identified gaps to ensure equal access to the resources available for development.

Hon. Cynthia Mamle Morrison, the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, commended the teachers of both schools for their dedication, and also encouraged all females to be bold, resilient and to work extra hard in order to make an impact in a male domineering world.

Source: GNA

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