The She Leads Consortium promotes sustained influence of Girls and Young Women

Accra, July 5, GNA – The She Leads Consortium has inaugurated a Seven-Member Steering Committee to run the Network of the Consortium.

The Steering Committee is the final decision-making body of the country Network and maintains contact with the Dutch Embassy while making policies for the operation of the Country Network.

The Committee reviews and approves final annual work plans for the project before execution and receives and approves quarterly reports of the Country Network through the Coordinator.

It also reports to the Global Network through the Country Coordinator.

The tenure of office for the three Consortium members in the Steering Committee will be permanent for the five-year project period and one year rotational for the other network members.

A Communique issued by the She Leads Ghana Consortium on barriers to girls and young women participation in leadership and decision making said a woman was esteemed to be calm, passive, reserved, quiet, conforming, and often not given platforms to share their views.

Madam Angela Kwabi, the Programme Coordinator for Women Aspire Network, who read the communique, said it could be estimated that there were even fewer women in leadership at various levels of education and at the informal sector and community levels.

She said undoubtedly, women in Ghana had limited opportunities to participate in leadership and decision making at all levels of national life due to many obstacles or barriers.

Madam Kwabi said women’s access to educational and skills training opportunities were restricted because of beliefs that their social roles and responsibilities were limited to bearing and caring for the home, children and other reproductive activities that demand little or no education.

She said the root causes of the decade-long canker begin right from the socialization of girls and boys, which was based on social constructs and perceptions, social norms, attitudes, behaviours and practices that relegated girls and young women to the back, especially in the rural areas of Ghana.

Although women contribute to GDP, their hard work is not often recognised and they end up not being paid for the same work when performed by men.

The Programme Coordinator said this and many other barriers not only affect women’s well-being and self-esteem but severely constrain girls and young women’s own efforts to improve their socio-economic status.

It was for these reasons that the She Leads consortium, a five-year (2021-2025) strategic partnership was launched.

The Ghana Consortium is made up of Plan International Ghana, Defence for Children International Ghana, Women Aspire Network and GenCED (FEMNET Ghana).

The strategic objective of the She Leads programme is to increase the sustained influence of Girls and Young Women (GYW) in decision-making and the transformation of gender norms in formal and informal institutions.

Madam Kwabi said this would be achieved through the attainment of enhanced collective action and activism by GYW in a gender-responsive civil society and increased acceptance of positive social gender norms.

She said it was for this reasons that the Consortium called on parents and families, traditional and religious leaders to promote positive gender norms to increase the civic space for girls and young women.

She said it was for them to create enabling environment through education and skills training to support girls and young women to participate actively in leadership and decision making at the family, school, community, subnational and national levels.

“We also call on the government to resource its relevant agencies such as Gender and Education Ministries, National Youth Authority, NCCE, DOVVSU to ensure the enforcement of relevant laws on the protection of the rights of girls and young women and the empowerment of girls through education,” she added.

She said the Consortium held that these actions would alter people’s attitudes and perceptions on Girls and Young Women participation in decision-making at home, the community and national levels.
Madam Kwabi said the advocacy aimed to promote understanding between men and women and make them work together.

“When this happens, Women will feel valued and be bold to assume roles in their competencies and skills that would contribute to their personal and national development,” she added.