Otiko Afisah Djaba
Otiko Afisah Djaba

Otiko Djaba eulogies women as unsung heroines

Former Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Otiko Afisah Djaba has said 2023 is a great time to celebrate mothers, given all the lessons learnt over the years.

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 “We cannot overestimate the value, calculate and quantify the influence of a mother on the lives of her children.

Nor should we undervalue the important role of good mothers,” she said.

She added that “Mothers are strong, courageous and fearless in the pursuit and performance of their duties as mothers”, adding that mothers are the inspiration behind the dreams, achievements, vision, destiny and future of their children”.

These were contained in a statement to mark Mother’s Day which fell on Sunday, May 14.

She said “As we celebrate Mother’s Day, let’s appreciate the greatness of mothers. Let Ghanaians celebrate this year’s Mother’s Day by breaking new grounds to give mothers better chances, resources and opportunities to be happy and fulfilled women”.

Modern mothers

According to her, “There is a new generation of modern mothers bringing up this generation and the next crop of Ghanaians in this dynamic, television, social media and technology-filled world and we should be concerned about their welfare and well-being, especially on this unique day”.

She was of the view that “honouring mothers should go beyond this one-day celebration.

It should be a lifetime responsibility to stop putting barriers against women”.

She also said that “women themselves must not erect barriers against their achievements.

They must strive for excellence in their own lives to be better mothers”.

Ms Djaba, who is the Executive Director of the Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation, said the foundation “wants to use this occasion to admonish mothers not to allow the opinion of others to hold you back from building your personal capacity.

Stop allowing society, children, family, partners and husbands to determine what is possible for you as a woman and a mother.

Women today need to make new rules in their best interest and that of their children”.

She said mothers have fought a million battles over their children and asked: “Who fights for mother”?

“Comparatively, the literacy rate of males in Ghana is 74 per cent, thus more serious attention must be placed on educating the girl child to the highest level, increasing the number of girls staying and finishing school, especially at the high school and tertiary level.

Education for women who are not literate should be enforced, further education for those who curtailed their education should be advanced to achieve parity in education as enshrined in goal four of the SDGs to develop more accomplished mothers,” she added.

She further stated that women have been negotiating the barriers of life since Eve, and figuring out how to overcome them despite the odds against them, saying: “As we celebrate Mother’s Day again, we must rewrite a better narrative about girls and women”.

Resilience

Enumerating some of the ills in society, she said “the tragedy of the nine children who drowned at Faanaa recently, killing girls and women, ritual murders of children and the Mankessim murder of Georgina Asor Botchwey, victimisation of alleged witches, the defilement of girls, rape of women, child marriage, Female Genital Mutilation, impregnating teenage girls, parental neglect, horrifying abuse of women who cannot bear children, trafficking, terrible widowhood rites, discrimination against single mothers and divorcees, irresponsibility of duty bearers, lack of enforcement of laws that protect women and children and all forms of violence and abuse against girls and women mar the good story for celebrating mothers”.

“Oftentimes, as I review the atrocities against girls and women over the years, I am amazed at the resilience, tenacity and accomplishments of mothers,” she said and called on society and children to truly honour mothers beyond this year’s celebration.

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