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Women hailed for their roles in combating COVID-19 pandemic

BY: Samuel Duodu

The Northern Regional Director of the Department of Gender, Ms Alhassan Bushira has hailed the various roles women played at the family, community, institutional and national levels in combating the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country.

According to her, women stood at the front lines of the COVID-19 crises as health workers, care givers , community organisers and as some of the most exemplary and effective national leaders in combating the pandemic.

Speaking at a coordination programme held in Tamale, the Northern Regional capital on Monday, March 8, 2021, Ms Bushira, stated that women leaders and women's organisations both at the national and international level also demonstrated their skills, knowledge and networks to effectively lead in COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.

Meeting

The coordination programme between Songtaba, the Pan African Organisation for Research and Protection of Violence on Women and Children (PAORP-VWC), Savanna Women Integrated Development Agency, Ghana (SWIDA-GH), all non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working to promote the rights of women and girls in Northern Ghana and the regional directorate of the Department of Gender was also used to mark this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD).

It brought together youth advocates, single mothers, women leaders, the media and civil society organisations (CSOs) held under the Women’s Voice and Leadership programme supported by the Global Affairs Canada and implemented in partnership with Plan International Ghana was to coordinate and align the activities of the NGOs and the department of gender.

Theme

Ms Bushira speaking on the theme for the celebration “Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a Covid-19 world”, said the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted both the centrality of women’s contributions and the disproportionate burdens that they carried.

The theme, she said also celebrated the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, saying today there is more than ever before that women bring different experience perspective and skills to the table and make irreplaceable contributions to decisions, policies and laws that work better for all.

She however noted that persistent pre-existing social and systemic barriers to women’s participation and leadership, new barriers have emerged with Covid-19 pandemic in Ghana and across the world, adding that women are facing increased domestic violence, unpaid care duties, unemployment and poverty.

Recognition

The Executive Director of Songtaba, Hajia Lamnatu Adam on her part used the occasion to celebrate all women who have made tremendous impact in socio-economic development of the country

She noted that women are still victims of gender based violence in many homes and suffer exclusion in decision making in our political and social/economic life because they are not empowered, adding that COVID-19 has impacted negatively on the lives of women by affecting their businesses and increasing rates of teenage pregnancy among girls in school as well as gender based violence.

The Executive Director of SWIDA, Hajia Alima Sagito, hailed the contribution of women in social and economic life and encouraged many more women to get empowered to venture into leadership since they already played critical role in the social development.

A representative from POARP-VWC, Dr Muma C. Bili, on her part called on women to be united and urged men to stand by women and support them.

She advised women aspiring for leadership to have role models and aspire to achieve more than their role models.