Girl child education and visible role models

BY: Stanley Seshie

Do you have a daughter? Has the Ghanaian society offered her enough visible role models from which she could select? Do you not think the society is systematically telling her all roads lead to the paparazzi world of entertainment and politics?

Imagine your daughter and her mates listening to the first Ghanaian female Afronaut (an African astronaut) recounting firsthand experience of visiting space, as other groups of women take their stand one after another to tell them what it takes to launch a space shuttle successfully from the ground and monitor it to its destination. Surely, many shall be inspired to follow their steps and even dream of doing better than them in areas where society insisted is difficult for women.

Liberated girls

Nations have liberated their women and successfully created the necessary environment for them to express their inherent intellectual and emotional capability in politics, philosophy, economics, mathematics, engineering, arts and sciences. The result is the impressive development for their nations.

Ghana is certainly on course, doing that across the spectrum of human endeavour. However, it seems the entire emancipatory machinery towards women is almost all about leading them into politics and entertainment, as if no option practically lies beyond these two for the freed and determined woman.

In Ghana, we have fossilised the impression that only those in the paparazzi world of politics and entertainment influence society. Intransigently woven into our societal consciousness are conversations that border on personalities (not even ideas) in religion and politics as well as entertainment industry more than the mathematics, sciences and engineering.

That means our growing daughters have only women in these avenues to look up to as role models. The obscuration of the available few in the sciences, engineering and technological innovations on the paparazzi landscape dovetailed into the perception.

The result is that there are few women to serve as role models in the sciences and other spheres for our daughters.

Our Ghanaian society is yet to come to terms with embracing educated women who can see through the instituted shackles of suppression.

Role models needed
Dr Kwegyir Aggrey once told us that for rapid development we need the educated woman to prosecute the agenda. More than ever in any generation, our growing daughters need these educated women to emulate as role models from every intellectual avenue. So doing little in the comprehensive liberation effort means we are starving our daughters of opportunities. The repercussions are their minimal contribution towards national development.

In addition, whilst we forever hold in high esteem the multitudes of our hardworking women collectively called "market women", they can no longer be role models to our daughters as was the case in the past. A continuation of that is acceptance and endorsement of national mediocrity. Notwithstanding the indisputable importance of agriculture, the world is increasingly moving away from tilling the ground to mining the mind.

The mining avenues of the human mind for the benefit of a nation are the arts, mathematics and sciences. This is why you must be worried that we are focussing on only the arts (religion, politics and entertainment) and neglecting and forgetting the rest to our own detriment. Our daughters have had enough of the musicians, journalists, politicians and prayer warriors saturating and dominating the society for far too long as the only visible role models.

The sky is no longer the limit for humanity for the paparazzi world to be our daughters' limit. We do not even know if there is a limit at all. Our daughters must be encouraged to join the open inexhaustible explorative kitchens of the sciences, mathematics, engineering and technological innovations in addition to the arts to prepare their intellectual meal for our national consumption and development.

That means we have need of women from those areas to also make themselves visible. In addition to the numerous female groups focussing on the paparazzi world, we also need a group such as the Ghana Association of Women Engineers, Mathematicians and Scientists (GAWEMS) to prosecute and disseminate the urgent message of seeding and harvesting these crops of daughters for the nation. We need them.

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