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Allow women to occupy leadership positions – 1st Lady



First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo has stressed the need for women to be allowed to occupy leadership positions in corporate entities for economic turnaround.

According to her, such opportunities did
not only serve the interest of companies but the nation as a whole as
“companies with female leadership tend to do better in many respects”.

“It is clear that gender balance in
business can’t be purely a diversity issue. It’s an economic issue and
addressing it can benefit business and economic performance, thereby impacting
all stakeholders,” she stressed.

Mrs Akufo-Addo made the call on Friday
when she hosted about 400 Ghanaian women to an awards event to mark
International Women’s Day (IWD).

Held on the theme, ‘Balance for better’,
the ceremony recognised contributions of some distinguished women in diverse
sectors including education, health, social entrepreneurship, agriculture,
advocacy and inclusion, arts and culture, innovation and outstanding
leadership.

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It also outdoored about 20 female
mentors to provide skills training and mentorship to some young ladies from the
Accra municipality as part of the First Lady’s ‘Because I want to be’ initiative
in partnership with UNFPA.

The First Lady encouraged women pioneers
in the corporate and business world to share principles and best practices with
younger women climbing the corporate ladder to maintain highest standards.

“To balance for better, we must
continue to develop male leaders as advocates and allies for their female
counterparts, by sharing the strong business case for empowering women. We must
build support networks for women, establish mentoring initiatives, enroll
high-potential women in leadership development initiatives and align sponsors
with them,” she advised.

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Mrs Akufo-Addo urged women in privileged
positions in society to “speak for balance in entrepreneurship and the
business environment. Let’s speak against imbalance. Let’s demand for spaces,
let’s identify the spaces and let’s be bold to occupy the spaces and give
hands-up to other women”.

Touching on the environment, the First
Lady entreated women to champion the use of reusable shopping bags instead of
plastics.

“These plastics harm our
environment. One of the simplest things we can do as women to support our
environment, is to use reusable shopping bags to drastically cut down the
amount of plastic we use and help save our environment.”

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“The time has come when we must
recognise that balance is desirable, balance is vital, balance is humanity’s
cry for greatness,” she charged.

UNFPA Country Representative, Mr Niyi
Ojuolape disclosed that the initiative to support out-of-girls through skills
acquisition and training would soon be extended to six municipalities in other
regions.

He highlighted the need for mentorship
for young girls “to give them the right information and skills to ensure
girls grow to realise their full potential”.

Constance Ama Emefa Edjeani-Afenu was
adjudged the most outstanding women in leadership for being the only female Brigadier
General in Ghana.

BY ABIGAIL ANNOH

Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo presenting a
plaque to Brigadier Edjeani-Afenu.

First Lady delivering her speech

First lady exchanging pleasantries
with some women at the awards event

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