Plan International Ghana, a non-governmental organisation, has held an inter-generational dialogue to encourage girls and young women to take part in decision-making and to take up leadership roles.
The dialogue, held under the “She Leads” empowerment programme, brought together women excelling in various fields and young women aspiring to leadership roles.
Speakers for the discussions were Lawyer and former Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Bampoe Addo; the Executive Director of the Ark Foundation, Angela Dwamena-Aboagye; the Programmes Manager of Network for Women’s Rights in Ghana (NETRIGHT), Patricia Blankson Akakpo; the Chief Executive Officer of Charterhouse Productions Ltd, Theresa Ayoade, and the Executive Director of Gender Studies and Human Rights Documentation Centre, Dorcas Coker-Appiah.
Ms Bampoe Addo, who spoke on “Harnessing the leadership potential of girls and young women; the role of female leaders/activists”, noted that young women needed to plan before taking action.
“Preparation alone is more than 70 per cent of success. Whatever task you have ahead of you, rise up to the occasion and prepare. People will have confidence in you once you are prepared and organised,” she said.
On the issue of breaking biases, Mrs Ayoade encouraged young women to stop seeing themselves as just females.
“In order to succeed in whatever field you choose, you must stop seeing yourselves as just females; see yourselves as human beings who have been put on this earth with a purpose. Be intentional about being a human being and occupy your space,” she stated.
Ms Akakpo urged female leaders to help the situation by making themselves available to the younger generation.
“We have to continue to create spaces for younger female leaders to be able to lead,” she said.
Ms Dwamena-Aboagye listed some important attributes of a leader.
“Leaders are readers. Leaders are dreamers. Leaders are seers. Leaders are builders. Leaders are knitters. Leaders are shakers. Leaders are doers. Leaders are servers,” she said.
She also urged young women to know who they were and what their convictions were and to stand by those convictions.
The She Leads programme is a five-year strategic partnership between Terre des Hommes, Plan International, Defense for Children/ECPAT, African Women's Development and Communication Network and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.