Former Minister urges women to take up leadership positions

Madam Tangoba Abayage, a Former Upper East Regional Minister, has admonished women to take up leadership positions and not shy away based on gender.

She said women should be bold and courageous to take up leadership positions in society irrespective of the challenges they may face, provided they were qualified for such positions.

‘When the opportunity comes for leadership positions, take it. Do not be shy, and when you take up leadership positions, shine,’ the Former Minister said, when she addressed the Upper East Regional Conference of the Young Female Platform (YFP) in Bolgatanga.

The Conference was organized by ActionAid Ghana (AAG), a Non-Governmental Organization on the theme: ‘Towards gender inclusive leadership: our time is now.’

It brought together female students from the Bolgatanga Girls Senior High School (SHS), Bolgatanga SHS, Bawku Senior High and Technical, Kongo SHS, Kusanaba SHS, Bawku Technical Institute, Zebilla SHS and Technical and the Bawku Vocational Institute.

The students engaged
in several activities including panel discussion, poetry recitals, artworks, singing and dancing competitions, and drama to boost their confidence level.

Madam Abayage said it was not true that men in leadership positions performed better than women, insisting ‘some women perform far better than men.

‘So do not limit yourself to being a second fiddle. Anytime you get the opportunity to be the first, go for the first,’ Madam Abayage, also a Former Ambassador of Ghana to Italy, said.

She noted that one of the biggest challenges against women taking up leadership positions was gender biases, ‘Society has categorically defined roles for men and women, and that is one of the biggest challenges of women taking up leadership positions.’

She expressed concern that some sections of society thought that women who rose higher in society and occupied leadership positions did so by offering sex and not by dent of their academic qualifications and hard work.

The Former Minister noted that the first point of discourage
ment, especially for married women who wanted to aspire for leadership positions were their husbands.

‘Only a few men encourage their wives to leadership positions, especially if that leadership position is political,’ Madam Abayage, also a former Parliamentary Candidate for the Navrongo Central Constituency in the 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary elections, said.

Madam Christiana Azure Ayinzoya, the Talensi District Director of the Ghana Education Service (GES), advocated the need for the students to stay away from premarital sex, concentrate on their studies and support their parents and guardians at home.

Mr Yakubu Akuka, a Programme Officer of AAG, said gender inequality was of concern to the organization, noting that ‘Many of the leaders in this country are males, and this YFP model is basically structured to empower young girls to become leaders even while they are in school.’

He said the current Parliament of Ghana had 14.5 per cent of women Parliamentarians, ‘And it runs across all our leadersh
ip structures from the national level to the local level. Women are underrepresented.’

Mr Akuka emphasized the need for the inclusion of more females in the country’s leadership structure, so that they would be able to properly articulate their concerns for redress.

He encouraged the female students from the various schools to inculcate in themselves the interest to take up positions including Senior Prefect positions in their respective schools and not allow only their male counterparts to take up such positions.

‘Show interest in some of these leadership positions. Do not leave it to only the boys and go for less positions because you are a female,’ the Programme Officer said.

Source: Ghana News Agency