Mrs Simone Giger, the Swiss Ambassador to Ghana has praised President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo’s government for appointing more women to leadership positions.
She said women had huge potentials and their active involvement in government could spur rapid socio-economic growth and holistic national progress.
Mrs Giger gave the commendation when she paid courtesy call on Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister in Sunyani.
Her discussions with the Minister centred on climate change, women empowerment, cultural exchange, employable skills training and sister-city relationship.
Mrs Giger explained her visit was to enable her to explore and expose the various economic potentials in the region to attract Swiss investors.
She stressed the inclusion of more women in government would greatly give women a common voice in tackling challenges inimical to their development and thereby help to alleviate their plight and enhance their socio-economic lives as well.
Mrs Giger said women ought to be empowered economically and supported politically to take leadership positions and contribute significantly to decision-making processes, saying “there is significant value in bringing more women around the decision-making table”.
She observed women in leadership positions were always appreciated to be more empathetic, collaborative and consensus builders, which remained keys to all-inclusive government and an index for socio-economic development.
Mrs Giger said it was imperative to inspire more women to be active in decision-making processes, saying women prioritised policies that improved the lives of everyone.
Madam Owusu-Banahene noted women participation in decision-making “is not just a right, but a key to sustainable development”.
She said in every democratic government, it was important every segment of the population was equally represented in governance.
The Regional Minister said equal representation of men and women in decision-making broadened perspectives, increased creativity and innovation, diversifies the pool of talents and competences, reduced conflicts and improved the process of decision-making.
“Indeed, women participation in decision-making in general has benefits not only to women but to the general society at large”, she stated, adding evidence had showed that more women in public and private decision-making increases the general level of public sector effectiveness and accountability.
Madam Owusu-Banahene said it was unfortunate there were still several barriers that needed to be overcome to enhance women’s participation in decision-making and attributed such barriers primarily to “patriarchy”.
“It is a key aspect of the Ghanaian social system in which women role and status are relatively recognised to be inferior to those of men in almost all aspects of social, political and economic lives”.
“Custom, law and even religion have also been used to rationalize and perpetuate these differential roles to the extent that some women themselves in typical traditional communities seem to have accepted and internalized them”, she stated.
Madam Owusu-Banahane said women constituted about 51.2 per cent of the national population, and without their active participation in the public discourse and decision-making process, it would be extremely difficult for the country to progress.
“Unfortunately, women participation in governance and at all levels of decision-making processes in the country remains low, hence President Akufo-Addo’s government has appointed more women to key political positions. This will also inspire and motivate the younger women to brace themselves up for leadership positions in the country”, she stated.
Madam Owusu-Banahene expressed appreciation to the Ambassador for the visit and expressed the hope that the relationship between the Bono Regional Coordinating Council and the Embassy would be deepened for mutual benefit.