'Be bold, we can bridge gender gap before 2186' - First Lady dares women

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Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo

First Lady, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo has enjoined Ghanaian women to work harder at bridging the gender gap before the World Economic Forum's target of 2186.

Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo threw the challenge to a gathering of prominent women she hosted at her Ridge Office as the world marked the International Women's Day last Wednesday.

Rebecca Akufo-Addo

The women contemplated the theme of this year's commemoration "Be Bold for Change".

The wife of the President saluted women especially in Ghana who have made great contributions to get us closer to gender parity by empowering and inspiring generations of Ghanaian women.

The gathering was well attended and she acknowledged the contributions of guests like former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, Chief Justice Theodora Georgina Wood, Dr Joyce Aryee.

International Women's Day

Beginning from iconic women of history like the Asante warrior Nana Yaa Asantewaa, the First Lady also traced the trail of progress to the first female Air force pilot Esther Ocloo and the appointments like Joyce Adeline Bamford-Addo who became the first female Speaker of parliament and women like Susana Al-Hassan and Sophia Doku Grace.

She praised the country's first female Chief of Staff Madam Frema Opare, Melody Millicent Danquah and many others who have been trailblazers in empowering other women in fashion, politics, finance, small and medium business and so many other areas.

Addressing the gathering, the First Lady noted that this year's theme is rather spot on, considering a World Economic Forum prediction that "gender gap won't close entirely until 2186".

She observed that for women to achieve this goal, they would have to be bold enough to galvanise individuals and organisations to commit to help women and girls achieve their ambitions.

International Women's Day

"Ghana needs more female voices in politics and policy making as well as in academia, industry, business, finance agriculture, the arts and many more areas. She stated that "it is going to be a long arduous battle, but I believe we are up to it." Mrs. Akufo-Addo said.

Advocating for more political inclusiveness of women, the First Lady noted that "we cannot exclude a population that is more than half of Ghana’s population from political decision making. That is no way for us to develop"

She urged women to challenge gender biases and called for gender-balanced leadership in public and private places of work.

If Ghanaian leaders can create inclusive flexible cultures, then we would sooner rather than later have a generation of women who are equal partners with men in all spheres of life, she said.

Present at the gathering were Samira Bawumia, wife of the vice-president, former First Lady Hajia Ramatu Aliu Mahama, Mrs. Charlotte Osei, Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Joyce Aryee and many others.

International Women's Day