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Second Lady Samira Bawumia calls for sustained action to bridge gender gap

Mrs Samira Bawumia, the Second Lady, has called for urgent and sustained action to bridge the gender gap across various sectors.

Speaking at the launch of the 2024 Ghana Women Entrepreneurship Summit (GWES 2024) and the inauguration of the Greater Accra WERise Network, Mrs Bawumia said there was a long but crucial road ahead towards achieving true gender equality.

Mrs Bawumia said efforts needed to be made in promoting equal access to education and economic opportunities to combating violence against women and fostering greater inclusivity in political participation.

The launch, which also marked the celebration of the International Women’s Day, was on the theme: ‘Inspiring Inclusion: Recognizing the Strengths of Young Women in the MSME Space.’

It was organised by WERise in partnership with the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA), Mastercard Foundation and She Hub.

Mrs Bawumia said the theme aligned perfectly with the global IWD campaign’s ‘Inspire Inclusion’ message, recognizing the need for an inclusive env
ironment where women from diverse backgrounds could thrive and attain economic empowerment.

She said Ghana had made significant progress in advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment through legal frameworks and policies as well as the 1992 Constitution prohibiting discrimination and mandating fairer representation.

Mrs Bawumia said while there was enough progress, substantial challenges such as limited access to finance, land ownership, and formal employment were hindering women’s economic participation.

There are also entrenched cultural norms and discriminatory practices necessitating continuous awareness campaigns and social change initiatives, adding that bridging the gap between policy formulation and effective implementation was crucial to ensure tangible outcomes.

She said government was committed to achieving full gender equality in Ghana through its various interventions, such as the Free Senior High School Policy and economic empowerment programmes like the BizBox Project.

Mrs Bawumia c
alled for the recognition of the success stories of women transforming their lives and communities through entrepreneurship, facilitated by government agencies like the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA).

‘GEA’s support programmes like the SME High Growth Programme and the Youstart Project have helped to foster private enterprise and skills development, ultimately leading to job creation and economic growth for more than 300,000 micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs),’ she said.

She expressed the hope that WERise would fulfil its crucial mandate of creating an enabling environment where women could support and empower each other and encouraged those who had not yet registered to do so and become part of the vital network.

She called on all stakeholders – government, private sector, civil society, and development partners – to join hands in the collective efforts towards women’s empowerment in Ghana.

Mrs. Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Enterprises Agency, said women played a piv
otal role in the country’s economy, comprising a significant portion of the workforce, particularly in agriculture.

Despite their vital contributions, women entrepreneurs face numerous challenges, including limited access to finance, land, and markets, compounded by cultural and social barriers.

She said GEA was dedicated to addressing these disparities, creating an inclusive environment where women could thrive through strategic partnerships and impactful initiatives and providing support, training, and resources for women to start and grow their businesses successfully.

Source: Ghana News Agency