The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection yesterday joined the rest of the international community to celebrate the United Nations International Day of the Girl, with the promise to re-strategise and sensitise the people to the need to pay attention to the education of the girl-child.
The sector Minister, Ms Otiko Afisa Djaba, stated that they were going to go down to the grass roots by visiting the local communities and schools to ensure that awareness was created.
“This will go a long way to reduce the rate of child marriage, child prostitution, child trafficking, teenage pregnancy and other key challenges affecting the development of the girl-child,” she stated at the press conference.
As part of the policies and strategies put in place to empower girls, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, in collaboration with Plan Ghana, has crafted programmes to encourage girls to take up very high leadership positions.
Ms Djaba stated that there would be mentoring programmes in the communities and “Girls Girls Clubs” organised in schools to arm the girls with leadership, advocacy, communication, diplomacy, lobbying and negotiation skills.
She further added that in November this year, the ministry would launch the “Operation get off the street for a better life”.
“This project will map out and profile all female porters and street hawkers, and those above 18 years will be enrolled in skills training,” she said.
On mentoring the girl-child, a lawyer at the International Criminal Court, Mrs Akua Kuenyehia, explained that most girls felt intimidated and could not voice out their challenges and, therefore, called on individuals and mentors to avail themselves to these children.
“Mentoring goes beyond organising mentorship programmes but also availing oneself for the younger generations to seek assistance,” she said.
She also urged girls to study and carve a niche for themselves and also take advantage of the free education rolled out by the government.
For her part, the Country Director for Plan Ghana, Mrs Fadimata Alainchar, stated that their support for the International Day of the Girl was in a bid to create a movement to cause the voice of the girl-child to be heard.