Women Media and Change (WOMEC), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), has called on all stakeholders to put in more effort in their duties targeted at securing the future of adolescent girls in these challenging times.
The call was made at a mentorship forum organised by WOMEC for over 80 adolescent girls from selected basic schools in the Kpone Kantamanso Municipality and the Greater Accra Region. In attendance were students from four schools in the municipality including Kpone Methodist JHS, Kpone Presby JHS, KKMA basic schools, and Casmin International School.
The quarterly programme is organized under the TurningPoint Project of the Women’s Voices Leadership Programme of Plan International.
The event also coincided with the 2022 International Day of the Girl Child (IDG), under the theme: ‘Our time is now, our rights our future.’
Executive Director of WOMEC, Dr. Charity Binka, in a speech, noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has eroded the gains made through the various interventions over the years to address the numerous challenges adolescent girls faces, hence the need to intensify efforts.
The speech, which was read on her behalf by Dulcie Delali Attipoe, WOMEC Programmes Coordinator, drew attention to the many setbacks regarding investments in girls, including an increase in sexual violence against girls, teenage pregnancies, and school dropout rates.
Dr. Binka noted that current global crises and related challenges have also affected the lives of children, particularly girls, affecting their physical and mental well-being and access to safety and life without violence.
“Through the interventions of WOMEC over the years, about 500 girls in the Kpone Katamanso Municipality are now empowered to fight for their rights and those of their peers,” she said.
Dr. Binka further urged the participants to apply the knowledge acquired from the forum to their lives and also share with peers who did not have the privilege to be part of the event. She appealed to the government, parents, and other stakeholders to invest more in the empowerment of the girl child agenda in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The main speaker and mentor for the forum, Lawyer Thecla Wricketts, Lead Consultant, MalletWricketts Limited, also shared her experience on how she climbed the corporate ladder.
She noted that education remains the key to success and encouraged the girls to ensure they complete their schooling at the basic and senior high levels no matter the challenges.
Madam Wricketts pointed out that quality education could lead to economic empowerment that would break the cycle of violence and provide girls with the confidence they need to get into leadership positions to influence policy and shape society.
“In the years passed, we walked in your shoes, we faced your challenges, it was difficult for us just as it is for you today, and if we have made it, then there is nothing that should stop you. Push for your rights and ensure your voices are heard wherever you find yourselves”, she added.
Zonal Head of Retail Banking of Access Bank, Josephine Eva Arthur, appealed to all participants to manage their finances for a better future. She specifically encouraged the young girls to start saving early so that they would become financially independent in the future.