International Women’s Day (IWD) is observed annually on March 8 to celebrate women’s achievements worldwide and to reflect and recognise progress made by women in nation building. It is also known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace.
The global theme for the 2017 celebration is, “Women in the changing world of work: Planet 50-50 by 2030.” However, Ghana marked the day on the theme, “Economic empowerment of rural women: A tool for sustainable development in a changing world of work” to highlight the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women globally.
The day was set aside by the UN to remind governments, policy makers and stakeholders of their key roles to rally support for women towards a common goal of ensuring their empowerment.
Events are held worldwide on March 8 to observe IWD, during which women, including political, community and business leaders, as well as leading educators, inventors, entrepreneurs and television personalities, are usually invited to speak at various events on the day.
In a statement to mark the day, a former First Lady, Mrs Lordina Mahama, saluted all Ghanaian women on the occasion of the IWD.
She also congratulated Ghanaian women on their hard work, dedication, commitment and contribution towards the development of Ghana, stressing; “Today is your day, the woman who spun the cotton yarn, who tilled the soil and that woman who nursed the sick baby back to health.”
The former First Lady applauded women from all walks of life for their hard work in the markets, on the farms, at the beaches, hospitals, classrooms, at the pulpit, in the mosque, Parliament, our courts and security services, and all other places of work.
“You have done a yeoman’s job and added value to our economy and our lives. You have performed all these tasks in addition to the multiple roles and tasks you perform as women. These include care for parenting, children, the elderly and other family members of the household, domestic work, care for the sick and other housekeeping duties,” she said.
Mrs Mahama said despite the increasing number of women who entered the Ghanaian workforce, each year, efforts still needed to be intensified to get more women in such positions to be able to perform their multiple tasks and care for the family.
She said in line with the theme of ‘women in a changing world of work’, she acknowledged efforts by women who worked for a living in Ghana, stressing that; “Most of our working women are parents who work in the informal sector and may work under dire conditions, striving and dedicating themselves to make a wealth of difference in the lives of their families. You have indeed made a positive difference in the lives of your families.”
Mrs Mahama added; “We are women of the 21st century, who dream big and have big visions; visions to create better opportunities for our girls, better careers, better education for the girl child, a better work environment and working skills that will create bigger and better employment, decent work for women and break down barriers we face when we work as women.
“The future is bright; we will work hard together to eliminate cultural practices such as child marriage and gender-based violence so that we create the right environment and opportunities for women to do decent work in Ghana.”
In another statement, the President-General, Country Director, Executives and the entire membership of Women In Leadership International (WILI), on behalf of women and children of Ghana, have expressed their gratitude to the government, led by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, his Vice, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) on its resounding victory during the 2016 elections.
The statement, issued and signed by the Country Director, Ghana, Mrs Mercy Osei-Konadu, also thanked the immediate past government, led by his Excellency ex-President John Dramani Mahama, for ensuring a smooth transfer of power; and thanked both parties and all others for the peaceful atmosphere before, during and after the elections.
In the statement, WILI, which is a global professional women advocacy group with the objective of assisting women to take up leadership roles in their respective communities and also defend the rights of children, said it was encouraging and relieving to note that the government had appointed the first female Chief of Staff, with a number of women being offered high ministerial and decision-making appointments.
It also said the government’s promise to be gender friendly and sensitive, assuring to achieve about 30 per cent inclusion of women in this administration, was in the right direction.
Source: daily graphic