The Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Gender and Children has called for equal opportunities to be made available for all Ghanaians across all spheres of life regardless of gender, pointing out that given access to equal opportunities women show great tenacity and are able to offer significant contributions to organisational, societal and economic development.
Delivering a speech at this year’s 7th Ghana Women of Excellence Awards Ceremony held recently in commemoration of International Women’s Day, Hon. Francisca Oteng Mensah noted, gladly, that there has been a conscious effort by successive Ghanaian governments to empower women to thrive. She observed, however, that there is still much work to be done in this regard, since for example women currently constitute only about 14.5 percent of the people’s total representation in the Parliament of Ghana – and this cuts across various managerial levels of administration.
The Ghana Women of Excellence Awards Scheme forms part of the celebration in Ghana of International Women’s Day, and is organised by Top Brass Ghana under the auspices of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection – based on the theme ‘Empowering the Ghanaian Woman for National Development’.
According to Mr. Isaac Dakwa, Director of Top Brass Ghana, the Scheme’s primary objective is to motivate Ghanaian women into striving for excellence in their various walks of life and take their rightful place in the national development process.
Hon. Oteng Mensah stated that women empowerment has become a very significant topic of discussion in the last few decades, and rightly so. “The days of relegating women to marital and household responsibilities are long gone, and we must come to accept that women have as much capabilities as do men in making recognisable impact on society.”
She was heartened that Ghana has produced several extraordinary women in our history, citing some commonly recognised names such as Nana Yaa Asantewaa, who is known for her bravery and unwavering faith to defend her people in the face of adversity during the colonial times; Theodosia Okoh, the brain behind design of the Ghana Flag which we so much adore; and Efua Theodora Sutherland, whose work in literature and government led to establishing the Ghana Drama Studio and was a great influence in modern Ghana theatre.
Hon. Oteng Mensah remarked that: “We have a great responsibility in ensuring that we provide the enabling environment to maximise the human capital of Ghana, men and women alike. I want to use this opportunity to urge various stakeholders to facilitate passing the Affirmative Action bill, which would be a major step toward tapping into the potentials of women”.
The Distinguished Award winners included: Mrs. Ernestina Agyapong (Chief Executive Officer, Shanti Jewellery Limited and Treasurer, Federation of Ghana Goldsmiths and Jewellers Association); Dr. (Mrs.) I. Stella Agyenim-Boateng (Deputy Chief Executive, Volta River Authority); Dr. (Mrs.) Cynthia Amaning Danquah (Senior Lecturer, Department of Pharmacology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and Africa Oxford Research Scholar); and Ms. Ruth Ama Gyan-Darkwa, (youngest university graduate in Africa when she obtained B.Sc. in Mathematics from KNUST in 2021 at age 17).
Other award winners were: Nana Frimpomaa Sarpong Kumankumah (National Chairperson, Convention People’s Party); Ms. Philippa Larsen, (President-Ghana National Association of Teachers); Mad. Josephine Selasie Aku-Sika Ohene-Boateng (Deputy Managing Director, Prestea Sankofa Gold Limited); and Dr. Suzy Aku Puplampu (Chief Executive of Finance House, OctaneDC Limited).