African Women Leaders Network launch Youth Parliament

The African Women Leaders Network (AWLN) has launched a ‘Youth Parliament’ in Accra to deliberate on policies that affect their lives across the continent, nurture leadership skills, promote gender equality, create opportunities and build networks for members.

The Network is made up of young ladies from all walks of life passionate about helping to promote human rights, gender equality and human development.

Dr Charity Binka, Chair of AWLN Ghana Chapter, said if many women were in leadership, Africa would not be grappling with a lot of challenges it was going through.

With the high rates of maternal mortality in Africa, especially Ghana, she said the young women could help to reshape the agenda to achieve better results.

The Youth Parliament would serve as a platform for policy dialogue and enable members of the network to build skills in public speaking, develop leadership skills, build confidence and be change makers, she said.

‘I am hoping that it will be a platform to give all the education on gender
inclusivity, a capacity building platform to make young women develop the voices to advocate gender equality and create networking opportunities for business opportunities and learning platforms.

‘I am hoping that the Youth Parliament will help to amplify the voices of these young ones and help to prepare them for leadership roles in Parliament and beyond. In fact I am hoping that we will be seeing parliamentarians emerging from this parliament,’ she said.

Ms Stephanie Otoo Kumi, AWLN Youth Caucus President, said the Youth Parliament would encourage active civic participation and nurture great minds for societal growth.

‘The Youth Parliament will empower the members to contribute to policy making, and build their confidence and integrity.

‘We will ensure our voices are heard at where it is necessary by any means possible,’ she noted.

Madam Afua Ansre, a Senior Gender Specialist, UN Women, said the Youth Parliament was a celebration of a movement that promised to invigorate Ghana’s democracy with fresh pe
rspectives, boundless energy and a commitment to positive change.

The youth, she said, had always been at the forefront of development and demonstrated their determination and critical importance in working towards a national progress.

‘In this room, I see future law makers, activists, entrepreneurs, innovators and all sorts of people here. I believe the Youth Parliament can make their solutions crafted, ideas heard and policies debated for the best of women and all humanity,’ she said.

As the Youth Parliament empowered young people to harness their potentials, Madam Ansre admonished them to serve as a beacon of gender inclusivity to shape policies that affected their own lives.

The UN Gender Specialist advised them to tap strengths from their individual diversity and work as a team for success.

‘You should be bold in ideas, pursuit of justice. Use this platform to champion the voices of those who need to be heard. The future belongs to you and is shaped by your dreams and actions.

‘You are also respons
ible for holding the values of respect and inclusivity. Foster understanding and build a more cohesive society,’ she advised.

Madam Helen Geneau-Okutue, Director, Alliance Francaise, said the initiative was a laudable one to bridge the gap of inequality and trigger advocacy among young women to initiate change.

‘It’s a very important initiative for us to inspire a new generation of leadership among women, hence our partnership. Supporting this initiative is the very first, but wont be the last,’ she said.

AWLN is an initiative of the UN conceived in 2017 in New York as a movement of African women leaders to shape the destiny of Africans.

It has 38 chapters across the continent and six pillars.

Source: Ghana News Agency