ActionAid Ghana organised the conference which was attended by about 50 primary and junior high school (JHS) students from 40 partner communities of the non-governmental organisations (NGO) in the Asutifi North, Asutifi South, Tain and Banda districts.
This brings to 280 the total number of girls from those areas that ActionAid has taken through its yearly leadership conference since 2009.
The theme for the programme was, “Empowering Girls through Education: Building Leadership Qualities in Human Resource”, which also exposed the girls to ideas that would challenge them to work harder to reach their highest potential in life.
Addressing the participants, the Brong Ahafo Regional Programme Manager for ActionAid, Madam Christina Amarchey, explained that the NGO, which uses human rights-based approach to development, considered investing in nurturing leadership qualities in girls as very important.
That, she said, was in line with its mission of “working with poor and excluded people to eradicate poverty and injustice” and also to achieve its vision.
Madam Amarchey noted that human resource development is at the heart of economic, social and environmental growth and was also a vital component for achieving internationally agreed sustainable development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and for expanded opportunities to all people.
She emphasised that the issue of girls missing education had a direct negative impact on their confidence to take up leadership positions and that was also a reflection of how women were excluded from leadership positions in both public and private spheres.
She observed that the usual reason given for the low representation of women in leadership was that many women were not ready to be leaders and pointed out that the situation should not continue because it was an affront to the rights of women.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Girl-Child Education Officer, Madam Georgina Yankson, disclosed that at the time of writing the 2013 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), 18 girls were pregnant in the Sunyani municipality while the directorate recorded 25 in the Techiman area.
By Akwasi Ampratwum-Mensah/Daily Graphic/Ghana