Ms Sarah Adwoa Safo, Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection

Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Sarah Adwoa Safo has urged Ghanaian women to challenge themselves to push for greater parity for women in the country.

The Minister made the call during the celebration of International Women’s Day on Monday, 8 March 2021.

In a post on Facebook, the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection said, “since the dawn of Independence there has been no denying the role Ghanaian women played in the outcome of our nation’s freedom. Many distinguished women took up the mantle to organise fearless activism to propel our Nation out of colonisation and into self-governance.

“Since then, our Nation has slowly and steadily created avenues to empower women to take up leadership positions in the country.”

She noted that the country has seen many “illustrious women break the glass ceiling” including “Mrs Joyce Aryee, First Female Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, First Female Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Joyce Bamford Addo and the First Female Chief Justice, Justice Georgina Theodora Wood. Hon. Akosua Frema Osei Opare, first Female Chief of Staff and COP Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, first female Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service. Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang, First Female Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast and Lucy Quist, who in 2014 became the first Ghanaian woman to lead a multinational telecommunications company.

“On the continent, we have been honoured with a few female Heads of States including Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and Malawi’s Joyce Banda.  A few weeks ago Ngozi Okonjo Iweala was confirmed as the First Female and First African head of the World Trade Organisation. These women are the torch bearers who have paved the way for women across our continent to take up leadership positions in all fields of endeavour.

“Today, women and men are legally equal and women’s rights in Ghana have made significant progress.

“There has especially been an increased participation of women in politics and leadership positions in Ghana under the stewardship of His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo with rise in the percentage of women in Parliament and Women in key Cabinet positions in his government. Today 14.54 percent of our parliamentarians are women; a sturdy rise from the 6th and 7th Parliaments of the Fourth Republic of Ghana”, she added.

Ms Adwoa Safo however bemoaned the effect of multiple aspects of traditional society on “gender equality, impacting the rights of women” in the country.

With this year’s theme ‘Choose to Challenge’, “I call on women, both young and old to take up the mantle as set forth by the United Nations Development Goal 5 and challenge ourselves to push for greater parity for women in Ghana”.

The Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister emphasised that, “As much as Women are increasingly closing the gender gap in Ghana, this is being done at a much slower rate than expected and it is time we come together as a nation to break the traditional barriers that has and continues to inhibit the development of Gender Parity in Ghana.”

She also pledged her commitment to “help develop a gender-sensitive society where solidarity, opportunities and responsibilities are shared by women and men in equal measure. Will also commit to see to the passing of the Affirmative Action Bill into law.”

Adwoa Safo added, “I call on well-meaning Ghanaians to choose to challenge the obstacles that limit women from actively participating and leading in significant decision making processes.”