Sunday, April 19, 2009


THE Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs is to open offices in the various district capitals to monitor the activities of children, especially girls.
The programme, which would be piloted in some selected districts in the country this year, is also to whip up interest in the education of girls in rural and deprived communities to ensure that they remain in school and are encouraged to attain greater heights in life.
The Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Eric Opoku, disclosed this at the opening of a three-day conference in Sunyani for selected girls from primary and junior high schools in 37 communities in the Asutifi and Tain districts of the Brong Ahafo Region.
It was on the theme; “Catch Them young — nurturing girls for leadership”.
The conference, organised by ActionAid, Ghana, was aimed at building their self-confidence, nurturing them for leadership in their various schools and for the future.
The girls were exposed to ideas that would challenge them to work hard to reach their highest potential and treated to topics such as career development, assertiveness and management of peer pressure, violence against girls and adolescent reproductive health.
Mr Opoku disclosed further that the government would also distribute solar panels to communities which did not have electricity to provide light to enable schoolchildren to learn in the evenings under the supervision of a teacher.
He stated that the government had also directed that 60 per cent of government scholarships for junior high school graduates to the senior high schools should be offered to girls, especially those from rural and deprived communities this year, while 40 per cent was to go to boys.
The deputy regional minister said the various district assemblies had been tasked to set aside two per cent of their Common Fund to support education, especially in assisting students who pass the Basic Education Certificate Examination and could not pay the initial admission fees at the senior high school level.
He said the Member of Parliament’s Common Fund had also been increased from five to seven per cent to give support in the same direction.
Mr Opoku called on the participants to study hard so as to attain their aspirations in life and shun all anti-social activities that could jeopardise their future.
In her welcoming address, Madam Christina Amarchey, the Brong Ahafo Regional Programme Manager of ActionAid, Ghana, bemoaned the low representation of women in decision-making.
She stated that currently in the region, the number of elected assemblywomen stood at 58, which she said was negligible as compared to the huge number of elected assembly men.
This situation, Madam Amarchey said, was even worse if the results of the recent parliamentary elections were considered since there was no female MP from the Brong Ahafo Region.
She, therefore, called on political and traditional leaders as well as the general public to make conscious efforts to promote the political rights of women and girls.

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