President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called on the general public to support the “He-for-She” campaign which is aimed at eliminating gender discrimination as part of the United Nation’s (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda.
In a meeting with the press today to assess his first year in office, the president said: “I’m still working to achieve gender parity or at least reduce the percentage promised. In the meantime, I wish to encourage all to support the “He-for-She” campaign to help us achieve the UN SDG number 5”.
The “He-for-She” campaign was launched December 2017 to provide a systematic approach targeted at a global audience to become change agents for achieving gender equality. In July 2017, Nana Addo was nominated “African Union Gender Champion” for 2017, by the AU Chairperson as a result of his actions in promoting gender equality and women’s leadership in decision making.
Speaking at the press briefing, the president touched on the disinterest expressed by most students, especially girls, in the area of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) system.
According to an International study of gender equality in schools by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, girls do not pursue STEM as compared to boys because they lack “self-confidence”. The study suggests school performance could be boosted by improving attitudes among girls towards tackling Math and Science, and by parents encouraging girls to consider careers involving subjects such as engineering.
President Nana Addo urged girls to show interest in Science, Technology and Innovation to promote the STEM educational system. He said: “The two Ministries: Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation are working together to step up the development and application of appropriate technologies to solve the variety of problems that confront us. This is to be supported with the national strategy to promote STEM education throughout our educational system and stimulate interest of our pupils and students especially girls in Science, Technology and innovation.
He added that: “We should put greater emphasis on technical agricultural and vocational and skills training. We have no choice than to educate and train the workforce to match the needs of the modern economy of the 21st century. This is only possible if we prioritize and accelerate the development and application of Science, Technology and Innovation and also develop the capacity to design and manufacture machines parts and tools for ourselves.”