wpid-women0.jpgThe world has just ended observing Saturday, March 8, as International Women?s Day (IWD), a day set aside to reflect on the progress made by women and celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women throughout the world.

In Ghana, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection held the first Women?s Summit on the theme, ?Equality for women is progress for all through total inclusion?, to drum home the need to include women in all aspects of national life to ensure equality for women.

Ghana has come a long way from the days when women were seen as wives and were consigned to the kitchen, cleaning and taking care of the children, while the girl child was expected to be at home with the mother while the boy went to school.

From the time of the exploits of the great Asante warrior, Yaa Asantewaa, to date, we have had a long roll of women of valour whom this country can be proud of.

To mention a few, there have been Madam Mabel Dove Danquah, the political activist and journalist; Mrs Justice Annie Jiagge, the first female magistrate and later Appeal Court judge; Mrs Susanna Alhassan, a minister in the First Republic, and Mrs Theodosia Okoh, who gave us national pride by designing the national flag.

We have not forgotten the women?s empowerment role played in the 1980s and 1990s by Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, the then First Lady; while we are reminded and proud of the former Speaker of Parliament, Mrs Justice Joyce Bamford-Addo, and the current Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Georgina Theodora Wood.

We acknowledge the exemplary leadership provided by women for institutions such as the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, the National Commission for Civic Education, the Ghana Prisons Service, the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, the Controller and Accountant-General?s Department and others too many to list here.

These women in leadership and many more who have not been heard or written about have shown to all that women are as capable as men and probably even more capable than their male counterparts.

The Daily Graphic is of the opinion that not only should we celebrate IWD; we should also continue to put in place policies that will ensure that equal opportunities are given to girls and women to play the appropriate roles in national development.

Women continue to be a big factor in society and the way they affect society. It is, therefore, necessary for the world to do away with the stereotypical manner in which they are regarded and allowed to play their roles according to their capabilities without let or hindrance.

We have come a long way as a nation, but we urge women to take advantage of the many opportunities available to them to shine wherever they are. Many are those who are of the view that women have sometimes failed to take advantage of opportunities and rather consign themselves to the notion that the world will continue to be a man?s world.

We cannot but agree with the theme for the celebration of this year?s IWD: ?Equality for women is progress for all?.

Daily Graphic Monday, 10 March 2014

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