First Lady Rebecca Akuffo-Addo has challenged parents to give the girl child the best of education to enable them to have a better life and make decisions that are best for their lives in the future.
Speaking at the celebration of International Women’s Day in Accra, she indicated that it is high time the country puts an end to child marriage by allowing the girl child to stay in school, noting that “the longer a girl stays in school, the longer she delays early marriage and childbirth” saying “even though UNICEF studies indicate a global declining trend in child marriages, we are still far from complete eradication.”
Mrs. Akuffo-Addo revealed that most developed countries have managed to achieve gender equality through education “because education makes the girls to be heard. Education allows girls to be seen. It gives them a voice to shape their future. It gives that child the voice to say No I should determine who I spend my life with.”
Touching on the theme for this year’s celebration, ‘Press for Progress’ the First Lady noted that the theme “speaks to something deep within me. For me, it means that we move, in spite of the obstacles. That we push forward in spite of the resistance. It means we do not allow anything to stop us.”
She said other nations have been able to achieve gender parity by ensuring that both girls and boys develop their full potentials by giving them equal opportunity. “It is in Ghana’s interest to ensure both girls and boys develop to their full potential.”
She challenged Ghanaians to take deliberate steps to do what others have done revealing that the country has all it takes to achieve that. “We have the policies, we have the laws. We have the knowledge and we have the tools. It is time to act,” she said.
Mrs. Akufo-Addo said the day is a day on which, women must take a critical look at the barriers that impede their progress, the strides made so far and what more needs to be done.