|MOWAC Launches Campaign On Technical Skills For Girls|
|Monday, 22 October 2012 11:00|
The Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs (MOWAC), with support from the African Development Bank (AfDB), has launched a national campaign programme on the theme ‘Women’s empowerment, a key to sustainable development’ to promote girls enrolment into male dominated technical skills.
The programme, which is being implemented by the Gender Responsive Skills and Community Development Project (GRSCDP), is aimed at providing information, education and communication (IEC) to the general public to help promote girls enrolment into professional trades such as auto mechanics, electricals, masonry, welding and auto engineering, considered to be non-traditional areas for girls.
The IEC campaign will be launched at the regional and community levels to sensitise parents, policy makers and the general public to the subject and need to motivate girls to pursue technical courses, as a positive stem to address the socio-cultural barriers that affect girls and women’s participation in these professional trades.
The GRSCDP is a US$ 14.63 million four-year Government of Ghana (GoG) and AfDB project aimed at helping the country to achieve gender equitable socio-economic development through gender mainstreaming and women empowerment.
A Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2011 report indicate that one out of every four girl-children in Ghana is married off before her 18th birthday.
A study conducted by the Ghana Statistical Service with support from the UN System established that child marriages decreased sharply with education and that while child marriages were common in Ghana, regional disparities were noticed, with the Upper East leading with 39.2 per cent; Western Region, 36.7 per cent; Upper West, 36.3 per cent; Central, 31.2 per cent; Ashanti 30.5 per cent; Volta, 29.3 per cent; Brong Ahafo, 29.1 per cent; Northern, 27.4 per cent; Eastern, 27.2 per cent; and Greater Accra, 12.2 per cent;
Launching the project, the Minister of Women and Children’s Affairs, Mrs Juliana Azumah-Mensah, said women often did not show much interest in fields of occupation such as electrical engineering, welding, auto mechanics and building and construction which were often perceived as areas for men, leading to the under utilization of female potential and that could result in a loss of human resources to the economy and society as a whole.
The challenges, however, in Ghana, she said, was that most parents perceived technical education as “hard and hazardous” field and were, therefore, reluctant to expose their daughters to those area, adding that the situation had led to the over-concentration of people in traditional courses leading to a high unemployment rate in the country.
She called on parents and society to do away with those prejudices and rather encourage girls to take up technical training to secure their future.
She said education was, therefore, one of the most effective ways of securing the future of the girl-child into more productive adulthood.
The Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, said the government was working assiduously to empower the girl-child and pledged his ministry’s support to the project.
Source: Daily Graphic