First Lady urges Government to Include women leaders in pandemic preparedness, response and recovery


The First Lady of the Republic, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo has underscored the need to uphold the rights and fully leverage the potentials of women leaders in pandemic preparedness, response, and recovery.

She was of the belief that the perspectives of women and girls, in all of their diversity, must be integrated in the formulation and implementation of policies and programmes in all spheres to attain the desired results.

“Efforts must be made to disseminate information on how women’s immunity and ability to fight the COVID-19 can be boosted by adopting healthy lifestyles and eating more nutritious locally produced foods as well as exercising and keeping to the safety protocols,” she stated.

She made the statement on the commemoration of the International Women’s Day.

Marked annually, on March 8, the International Women’s Day (IWD) is one of the most important events on the United Nations’ calendar, which makes it possible to raise awareness on women’s equality, achievements, and challenges, as well as lobby for accelerated gender parity.

The Day, sanctioned by the United Nations (UN) in 1975, when it officially celebrated it, inspires support for organisations that help women, globally, and creates the opportunity to fundraise for female-focused charities.

The 2021 theme for the IWD, announced by the UN Women, is: “Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World”, which celebrates efforts by women and girls in creating a more equal future and COVID-19 pandemic recovery.

However, there is a parallel global campaign theme: “#ChooseToChallenge,” highlighting the importance of challenging biases and misconceptions in the interest of creating a more inclusive and gender-equal world.

On this day, Mrs Akufo-Addo stated that women must be champions and facilitators of the drive to have a head immunity against Covid-19, as they have admirably done through the years, to overcome previous pandemics.

She also noted that women in the urban and the rural areas need to be supported based on their needs assessments.

“Thus the call on governments, especially in Africa, to ensure that girls stay in school, irrespective of the extended school closures, and protected from all forms of abuses and early marriages is in the right direction,” she stated.

Mrs Akufo-Addo noted that reports of increased violence against women, attributed to the consequences of the pandemic, must be investigated and stopped through proper social counselling and monitoring programmes as well as support services to safeguard our females.

“The needs of women rightly deserve to be placed at the heart of the COVID-19 response measures, while socio-economic plans are redesigned purposefully to better the lives and futures of women and girls,” she stated.

She called on everyone to daily make a conscious effort in thought, speech and action towards the achievement of gender parity, sooner than later, in defeat of the World Economic Forum’s prediction that ‘none of us will see gender parity in our lifetimes, nor likely will many of our children.’ Working for a sweet victory, with a ripple effect in the interest of all, must be the common agenda.

“Indeed, building an inclusive and resilient society in tandem with the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals and achievement of the 2021 IWD theme, calls for unity and focus, both by women and men in Ghana and yonder.,” she stated.

Mrs Akufo-Addo added that, “A challenged world is, indeed, an alert world. Therefore, everyone must truly embrace the challenge by making the International Women’s Day the focal point to contribute their quota, actively, to make a positive difference for women.
The day belongs to all groups, collectively, everywhere.”

Ghana/ Reagan Fosu

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