By Joyce Danso/Gifty Amofa, GNA,
Accra, March 12, GNA – Ms Helga Boadi, a member of the Executive Women Network, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has advised young ladies to concentrate on their studies and not to focus on marriage as the ultimate.
She stated that the cliché that the woman would always end up in the kitchen should be discarded and it was about time women learnt to be independent.
Ms Boadi was speaking at gender-based violence awareness and monitoring workshop for selected Junior High School students across Accra.
It was organised by the Australian High Commission in collaboration with Gender Violence Survivors Support Network (GVSSN), DUNK, Women in Law and Development Africa (WiLDAF) all advocacy NGOs, as part of the International Women’s Day.
Among the topics treated were “being an independent woman”, “being a male ally for girls”, “being an assertive leader”, “sexual and gender-based violence” and “role of police in ending violence against children”.
Participants of about 60 girls and 40 boys were selected from less endowed backgrounds, where social services are limited and where safe outlets for children do not exist.
She emphasised that being independent did not mean they should be feminists.
Rather it is the ability to do things for one self and not always rely on others.
“The first thing to be done is to acquire education, which no one can take from you,” she said, adding that, they should focus on their studies as there was time for everything, including marriage.
“You should also not be bossy but respect men both at home and the office and remain feminine as well as show emotions when necessary,” she advised.
Dr James Clayman, a medical practitioner urged the young ladies not to believe that women were more than men and therefore they might not get marriage partners, thereby, cheapening themselves and falling for men anyhow.
Mr Andrew Barnes, the Australian High Commissioner encouraged the participants to share the knowledge acquired to help promote gender equality and prevent violence against women.
Chief Superintendent Owusuwaa Kyeremeh, National Coordinator for the Domestic Violence and Victims’ Support Unit of the Ghana Police Service charged victims of domestic violence, especially defilement to report to the Unit and discard the notion that they would die if they report their perpetrators.
They should report defilement cases on time to avoid tampering with evidence.
“Police are there to enforce the law by offering protection, counselling, and rescuing victims, so do not be afraid to walk into any police station to make a complaint,” she added.
She hinted that the Unit will soon complete a one-stop shop for gender-based violence cases.
It would have offices for medical officers, social welfare staff and a temporal shelter for victims.
Madam Abigail Teye, a lawyer, advised the children against getting over-excited about their rights but rather observe their responsibilities too and respect the elderly.