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ASWIM backs Ayorkor Botchwey for Commonwealth’s Secretary-General

The Association of Women in the Media (ASWIM) has endorsed the candidature of Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey for the Secretary-General position of the Commonwealth of Nations.

It also congratulated Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang for her re-nomination as Running Mate for the Flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress, John Dramani Mahama.

Ms Botchwey, who is Ghana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, was earlier this year, nominated by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as the country’s candidate for the position.

This follows end of the current Secretary-General, Baroness Patricia Scotland’s, a dual Dominican-British citizen, tenure later this year.

ASWIM, in a statement signed and issued by Mrs Mavis Kitcher, President, on Friday to commemorate the 2024 International Women’s Day, the Association had firm confidence in her ability to make Ghana proud when elected to the high international office.

‘ASWIM wishes her success in this noble endeavour,’ she said.

She, however,
expressed concern about the continuous low women representation at the highest decision-making levels of the country.

‘It is unfortunate that in the current 275-member Parliament, where important decisions and laws are made to advance our nation’s progress, we are represented by only 40 women.

‘The story is similar regarding the leadership representation at the executive, local government, public boards and other relevant levels of decision-making,’ she said.

According to the United Nations Women, the world is facing many crises – ranging from geopolitical conflicts to soaring poverty levels and the escalating impacts of climate change.

These challenges, it points out, can only be addressed by solutions that empower women.

Should the trend continue, it warns that 320 million women and girls could be living in extreme poverty by 2030.

It also notes that an additional $360 billion is needed per year to achieve gender equality.

However, closing gender gaps in employment could boost GDP per capita by 20 pe
r cent.

‘By investing in women, we can spark change and speed the transition towards a healthier, safer, and more equal world for all,’ the world body underlines.

Mrs Kitcher said it was, therefore, imperative that Ghana accelerated actions that would effectively remove the barriers and stereotypes that continued to prevent women from reaching the important decision-making levels in our country.

She warned that, if this was not urgently done, Ghana would continue to lose the unique perspectives, experiences, innovation, and contributions that women could share and implement for maximising the attainment of our sustainable development goals.

‘The ASWIM believes that the 2024 General Election presents us with another good opportunity to elect more competent women to the largest decision-making body of our nation, the Legislature,’ she said.

She added that: ‘The Association is, therefore, encouraging media organisations and women’s groups to identify and adopt competent and patriotic female Parliamentary Ca
ndidates across political parties and support their campaigns to success.’

Mrs Kitcher also reiterated calls for the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill by Parliament, indicating that, such an action ‘will no doubt, propel the attainment of gender equality to make our society more inclusive and our development successes truly sustainable.’

International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.

The day has been observed for over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911.

The day serves as a powerful reminder of the progress made towards gender equality and highlights the work that still needs to be done.

The United Nations’ (UN) theme for this year’s celebration is: ‘Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress.’

Source: Ghana News Agency