The First Lady, Dr. Nana Lordina Dramani Mahama, has stressed the importance of gender parity and the need to end child marriage as Ghana joins the world today [Tuesday] March 8, to observe International Women’s Day.
“I join today, in commemoration of International Women’s Day, in pledging for parity as is being done across the world.”
In a statement signed by the First Lady, she charged Ghanaians to support and give a voice to marginalized underage girls who stand the risk of being married off or are already married off to older men.
“We must support and give a voice to the young girls who stand the risk of being married off or already married off to men far older than them and yet are required to remain silent.”
She further called on female role models to encourage the youth to commit to ensuring gender parity in Ghana saying, “Today, I call on you, our leading women, to reach out to the young ones, and to the men I say, take a stance to commit towards parity at the work place, home and school…”
Find below her full statement commemorating International Women’s Day.
STATEMENT FROM THE FIRST LADY OF GHANA, 2016 INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY, 8TH MARCH
I am glad to join the world in celebrating the enormous contributions made by women of diverse backgrounds to the sustenance of our families, economy and society as a whole. These contributions, both at home and in our social life, have contributed so much to the world today.
Today, a young lady is hardly hindered in many places including going to school to pursue a course that was previously reserved for men. However, this is not enough. We can do more as a society and a country.
During the recent meeting of the Organisation of African First Ladies against HIV & AIDS here in Accra, my husband President John Dramani Mahama launched the “Ending Child Marriage’ Campaign.
I am committed to this campaign because it will open doors to many more girls who would like to have a future with better economic and social prospects instead of falling into the traditional quagmire of yesterday.
We must support and give a voice to the young girls who stand the risk of being married off or already married off to men far older than them and yet are required to remain silent.
We will continue to make opportunities available not only to those who will reach out but also those who may not have the hands to stretch out due to ignorance or poverty. This is because, just as every boy and man can, so must every girl and woman be able to, reach out to a better world.
I join today, in commemoration of International Women’s Day, in Pledging for Parity as is being done across the world.
We are not asking for help. We are asking for our part in this great world of humanity. It is a great injustice to deny those who contribute to life the ability to participate in its offerings.
Parity also means having the knowledge to make the right choices. That is why this year, in addition to the activities of the Lordina Foundation, we will also focus on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights.
At the just ended 7th Africa Conference on Sexual Health and Rights, which I hosted in Accra, we strategized on measures to educate our young people on a topic most of us, as parents, have neglected- their sexuality, their choices and their rights. This will provide us an avenue to reach out to many young girls and women to make
the right choices as far as their sex is concerned.
It is great to be a woman but it is greater to be a model and to help others to excel.
Today, I call on you, our leading women, to reach out to the young ones, and to the men I say, take a stance to commit towards parity at the work place, home and school, because “a stronger woman does not make a weaker man but a better home, workplace and school.”
Signed: HE Dr. Nana Lordina Dramani Mahama, First Lady of the Republic of Ghana & President of the Lordina Foundation