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Help break barriers against women empowerment — 2nd Deputy Governor

By: Maclean Kwofi
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Mrs Elsie Addo Awadzi (2nd right) with other women right advocates at the GSE to mark International Women’s Day.  With them is Mr Kofi Yamoah (left)
Mrs Elsie Addo Awadzi (2nd right) with other women right advocates at the GSE to mark International Women’s Day. With them is Mr Kofi Yamoah (left)

The Second Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Mrs Elsie Addo Awadzi, has called for  consented effort to help remove constraints militating against the progress of women in the country.

That, she said, was necessary to help advance gender equality and the empowerment of women, particularly in the areas of economics, social protection, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure.

“Women do not need to be given special favour but rather they need support from others to identify the formal and informal constraints that sometimes work against their gender,” Mrs Awadzi said at an event by the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) on March 8 to mark this year’s International Women’s Day celebration.

Bell ringing ceremony
Also to commemorate the event, GSE joined other exchanges around the world to hold a ‘bell ringing’ ceremony to raise awareness of the pivotal role the private sector could play in advancing the United Nations (UNs) Sustainable Development Goal (Five) on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

This global initiative is a partnership of UN women, UN Compact, Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative, International Finance Corporation and World Federation of Exchanges.

The ‘ring the bell’ for gender quality initiative highlights the importance of gender equality to economic growth and the power of the private sector to bridge diversity gaps by taking concrete steps to invest in activities of women.

“This occasion is to celebrate women as well as to take stock of where we are and dispassionately identify the gap and constraint that stand in the way of women,” Mrs Awadzi explained.

She explained that this year’s theme for the ‘Balance for Better’ challenged women to think equal, be smart and innovative for change and promote a more balanced world in every sphere of life.

“Remarkable progress has been made in this regard, and we have to acknowledge that all around the world, in particular Ghana, opportunities have been created for both men and women over the last few decades.

“Given the level of progress that has been achieved, there is sometimes the tendency to dismiss the little constraint women face every day so that they are not able to fulfill their full potential and this is what we need to address,” she said.

Women still struggle
The Second Deputy Governor said women all over the world today still struggled to maintain their place in the society especially when they occupied top positions in the corporate world.

She explained that various studies, for instance, had some troubling statistics which showed that globally women still lagged behind their male counterparts in areas such as politics, health, education and economics.

According to the World Economic Forum 2018 report, it would take 108 years to close the current global gender gap and another 202 years to bring parity to the workplace.

The study further shows that women are 26 per cent less likely to be employed by men and they are also likely to be paid 24 per cent less than their male counterparts.

Ghana is also listed 89th position among 149 countries participating in terms of gender gap.

GSE’s future plans
The Managing Director (MD) of the GSE, Mr Kofi Yamoah, stated that the exchange had plans to increase the women workforce from the present five per cent to 50 per cent in the near future.

“We know very well that Ghana has not done well with regards to women empowerment but at least we can start building better examples for ourselves going forward.

He added that it was time to reflect and empower women to make progress in the society.