It is very prudent to place special emphasis on girl child education as a necessary tool for development of the nation as a whole because women were born special in the affairs of handling and adhering to the morals of good governance.
The Constitution of Ghana guarantees equal rights of women and men, yet disparities in education, employment, politics, leadership positions and health for women remain. Article 17(1) and (2) of the Constitution guarantees gender equality and freedom of men and women, girls and boys from discrimination on the basis of social or economic status, religion, ethnic grounds.
We really need to be reminded that, a society without education is like living in a disorganised home where everything completely lies in jeopardy and the children go wayward to be miscreants who mess around only to seen as adults of low pedigree.
However, it is unworthy to celebrate to celebrate International Women’s Day without acknowledging the indefatigable efforts women play to put the nation at the forefront regardless of the challenges they go through, be it psychological, emotional and physical tendencies.
Girl child education is very critical to curbing the moral decadence that is ongoing in the nation, because when these young girls are given the best of education, they would live up to expectation irrespective of the hurdles that would come their way.
It is very imperative to note that most girls after completing the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) or the West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE),are compelled to venture into petty trading, among other very insignificant economic activities which would not enhance their capabilities to further education to the latter.
Instead of making such children continue their education, they end up continuing the cycle of raising vagabonds on the streets who have no aim of contributing their part to the development of the nation.
Role TVET as a Viable Alternatives
For the girl child who could not be given education to the latter must also see opportunities around her including vocational jobs as a means of living a life of fulfilment for the betterment of her future family and the society or nation as a whole.
Vocational training in this current dispensation provides a holistic education to the girl child in order for her to be responsible and very resourceful to the career she has chosen.
Stakeholders in the education sector must constantly find out the extraordinary potentials of girls to enable them build strongly on it because, it is important for us to admonish girls to see vocational training as a viable alternative for skills acquisition in addition to their education.
This thoughtful idea would enable women contribute their maximum quota to the economic well-being of the nation.
Education, a code to #BreakTheBias
Can someone with any scholarly findings tell me how the entire world would have been without the existence of education?
In closing the gender gap, it is very important to give the girl child quality education to the maximum in order to break the bias they face as women because women are more empowered when given quality education to the max.
The 2022 International Women’s Day is celebrated under the theme, Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow and was flanked by the hashtag slogan, #BreakTheBias, and the rhetoric that hovers in my mind’s eye is that, can we collectively break the bias of our time without education?
The first International Women’s Day was held in March 1911 when women and men came together to talk about the need for women to have basic rights afforded to them, the right to vote, the right to work, the right to speak out in public and the right to equal pay.
For us to get to the fullest of the aforementioned of women’s rights, we cannot fathom the role and impact of education plays on the girl child to be assertive in their day-to-day endeavours.
A Call for Action
The International Women’s Day clearly informs us that, it takes education to surmount the tussle and bustle they face in life and stakeholders must be able to identify communities where girl child education is low and give their parents the needed sensitisation for the inclusion of girls to acquire formal education.
That notwithstanding, we have to recognise the courage, resilience and fortitude of women across the globe in spite of the discrimination, the violence and abuse they continue to experience on daily basis.
Sexual and Gender Based Violence is an intolerant act but this distasteful act as seen an ascendency to such cases due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Education, a solution to women representation
Without education, there would not be fair representation of women to be potentates in their area of jurisdiction because it takes education to be accorded the needed representation of a portfolio.
The 2021 Global Gender Gap Report of the World Economic Forum estimates that it will take 135.6 years to close the gender gap worldwide and 145.6 years to attain gender parity in politics, and I strongly believe that education can help us get there in some years to come.
In fact, the situation is worse in Africa, with Ghana not an exception, where the 2021 Inter Parliamentary Union ranking of women in politics places Ghana at the 147th position out of 193 countries, and this should inform educated women to be daring to show interest in such positions.
This does not speak well of Ghana, as a country that was the first to gain independence in sub-Saharan Africa.
In Parliament, out of 275 MPs only 40 are women, and out ofthe 49 ministers, only 9 are women also out of the 39 Deputy Ministers, only 10 are women.
Ghana is having 16 regional ministers, of which only 2 are women.
The case is not different from our local governance system, where out of the 260 MMDCES, only 38 are female, and we need more women to occupy these portfolios.
A humble Plea
Government must put girl child education at heart at all times in order for the nation to experience accelerated growth for a buoyant economy.
The Affirmative Bill which has been on the discussion table since 2011, must be passed into law for the betterment of women’s rights.
Written by Naomi Naa Adjeley Anang, Executive Director, Najel Foundation, Accra. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org