Sixteen women from different professional background have come together to commemorate a 16-day activism against gender-based violence, and to also serve as mentors to young ladies who were present.
Activism against Gender-Based Violence is a programme spearheaded by the European Union (EU) with the aim to reduce violence against women and girls.
Addressing the guest, Mr. Pierter Smidt Van Gelder, Deputy Head of Mission – European Delegation to Ghana, stated that the EU will continue to stand in solidarity with women and girls who are victims and survivors of violence as well as civil society, women’s rights organisations, and human rights defenders, demanding for accountability.
“In Ghana, the EU continues to actively support women to address issues of inequalities. In August 2022, we launched the ‘Women in Fisheries against Gender Violence Project’ to address issues of gender-based violence in 18 marine fishing communities in the Western and Central Regions. The project will also enhance access to social services and livelihood opportunities for survivors and women at risk of gender-based violence,” he added.
Mr. Gelder revealed that to promote financial inclusion, the EU is also co-funding the Women Entrepreneurship for Africa (WE4A) programme, which promotes access to finance for women entrepreneurs, including those in the informal sector.
In an interview with B&FT, Mrs. Asieme Elsie Azelikumah, owner of Elsiem Enterprise in the Upper East Region of Ghana, stated that being an entrepreneur herself, she purposely decided to join the 16 women in order to have the chance to educate and encourage young women into entrepreneurship since it helps reduce violence against women.
Mrs. Azelikumah is an agro processor who processes groundnut, and currently has 6 different consumables produced from groundnuts.
She also revealed that she, with the help of other women in entrepreneurship, has been able to take 780 female bearers (kayayei) back to the north from Accra, and has enrolled them in different fields of their choice to learn a trade for themselves.
Also, Mrs. Karen Halm, the Co-founder, Chief Operating Officer and Principal Architect of Spektra Global Limited – a design and build professional firm that provides architectural, interior design and construction services – encouraged young ladies not to give up on their passion.
“Before entering into architecture, I was discouraged by anybody I discussed my passion with. I was told it was too difficult, women do not do well in the field since it is a male-dominated field. But I did not give up, the more I was discouraged, the more I was determined to prove that a woman could also do it”, she encouraged.
At the global level, the EU’s Gender Action Plan 2020-2025 (GAPIII) provides an ambitious external policy framework to progress on gender equality and women’s empowerment.