Tangoba Abayage, former Upper East Regional Minister, speaking at the event
Tangoba Abayage, former Upper East Regional Minister, speaking at the event

Distinguish yourselves in leadership positions - Former minister challenges women leaders

A former Upper East Regional Minister, Tangoba Abayage, has challenged women occupying leadership positions to distinguish themselves in their portfolio to shore up public confidence in women leaders.

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“Women appointed to various leadership positions must ensure that they deliver just like their male counterparts so as to send a strong signal that women are capable of taking up leadership positions in the world of work,” she stressed.

She said “as a woman when you go through the ranks to become a leader, you must prove yourself and work hard to justify why you occupy such a leadership position in an institution”.

YFP conference

Ms Abayage was speaking during the 2024 Young Female Platforms (YFP) Conference at the Bolgatanga Senior High School (BIGBOSS) in the Talensi District last Monday. It was attended by students of the Bolgatanga Girls’ SHS, Bolgatanga SHS, Kusanaba SHS, Bawku Technical Institute, Zebilla Senior High Technical and Bawku Senior High Technical School.

The event was on the theme: "Towards gender inclusive leadership; Our time is now".

The YFP, an initiative of ActionAid Ghana, was established in 2009 to enhance women’s participation in leadership and decision-making processes through capacity building and advocacy.

 It is a learning platform for young women within the ages of 15 to 25 to be empowered with confidence and inspired to develop their leadership skills towards the growth of the society.

She mentioned that there were several impediments to women climbing to the leadership level and that those who got the opportunity should perform creditably so as to motivate other women to also rise to that same level.

Obstacles

The former minister said there were several obstacles which prevented women from aspiring to leadership including gender stereotypes, customs and traditions, poverty, family duties, among others.

For instance, she cited an example where working women would have to combine their work schedules with family life which often made it very difficult for them to aspire to the leadership level even if they were qualified.

“So, when the opportunity presents itself, for such women to take up leadership positions, some of them become reluctant,” she said, stressing “as a result, some women are not ready and enthusiastic about going in for leadership positions”.

Additionally, she lamented that some women continue to shy away from positions due to wrong public perception that women only rise to leadership positions because they offered sexual favours.

Enemy

The Upper East Programme Officer, ActionAid Ghana, Yakubu Akuka, said the patriarchy system that had existed for many years continue to be an enemy to efforts towards achieving gender equality.

He stated that as a society, “we should move towards achieving inclusive leadership where both males and females were fairly represented at the decision-making table”, adding that “women must be properly represented during the decision-making process so that they can champion their interest and raise their concerns”.

While indicating that women had the capacity and potential to lead, he urged them to offer themselves for leadership positions as it was the surest way to close the gender inequality gap in leadership structures.

Writer’s email: [email protected]

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