Investing in young women’s economic empowerment and skills development is one of the most urgent and effective means to drive progress on gender equality, poverty eradication, and inclusive economic growth, Dr Mrs Catherine Deynu, a Gender Activists has said.
According to her, despite the growing evidence of the positive outcomes of women’s economic empowerment, young women continue to experience unequal access to education and skills development and face barriers to securing decent employment and opportunities to thrive as entrepreneurs.
She stated that, women continued to shoulder an unequal share of economic opportunities not only to persistence of traditional gender roles, but their failure to acquire technical and vocational skills that would create competitive opportunities for them.
Dr Deynu, a former Deputy National Women’s Organizer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) made the call at a programme to mark this year International Women’s Day in Accra.
She was addressing women and students of Technical, Vocational Education and Training Institution (TVET) on the theme ” Think Equal, Innovate for Change.”
The former NDC women leader said, it was imperative for the Ghanaian women to enter in the multi-facet approach to creating a more balanced society with men dominated field and encouraged more women to aspire towards technical and vocational skills acquisition
She said, to increase access to decent employment and economic opportunities, there was the need for women to acquire technical and vocational training to be able to stand shoulder to shoulder with the make dominated economic environment.
“The world now revolves around science, technology and technical innovations. Some of these technological and technical innovations control major areas of our economy and continue to influence the way we live.”
“It is however important that, women position themselves so as to benefit from the new economic order, to neutralise the domination of men in these sectors of our economy. We must encourage a lot more women to remove the perceptions they have on Technical, Vocation Education, and Training (TVET),” she stated.
She added, “We must change the erroneous perceptions that, less academically good students are the ones for technical educations. That way, we can collectively own the future.”
Dr Deynu, further encouraged women to take steps to empower themselves to this end and accommodate their male counterparts in the process.
She explained that, “the purpose of Technical, Vocational Education, and Training (TVET) is to equip people with the technical and professional skills needed for socio-economic and industrial development of the economy. ”
Dr Mrs Catherine Deynu
THE FULL SPEECH
A SPEECH DELIVERED BY DR. MRS. CATHERINE DAYNU ON INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY, ON THE 8TH OF MARCH 2019. AT TECHNICAL VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING INSTITUTION (TVET) ON THE THEME, THINK EQUAL, INNOVATE FOR CHANGE.THE CAHIR TO THIS MEMORABLE OCCATION, ALL PROTOCOLS OBSERVED.
I AM MOST HUMBLED TO BE THE GUEST SPEAKER FOR THE DAY
Think equal, build smart, innovate for change, as at this moment, I don’t think there is any better theme than this one. Discussions on women took centre stage many years ago. We cannot escape the demands for women’s rights during the Russian Revolution in 1917. We cannot also skip the countless international conferences, and most important, the Beijing conference of 1995 that led to the enactment of international conventions such as the Conventions on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Out of those relentless efforts, the United Nations created UN Commission on the Status of Women. A commission that has addressed many challenges of women in the world.
In Ghana, many policies from the First Republic to the Fourth Republic have been implemented to ensure promotion and protection of women. The 1992 constitution guarantees freedom and equality for all. The increasing number of women in decision making shows that, we have achieved some successes. But, when I look at the theme for this year’s celebration, I believe, is an open admission that, we still have more work to do. The fundamental challenges of women’s rights, equality and justices are far from over. Indeed, the complexity of the challenges today, require smart and innovate solutions. Here in Ghana, one way of bridging inequality, building equality, and innovatively equipping our women, is to emphasis on Technical, Vocation Education, and Training (TVET).
At 2016, the World Bank reports shows that, women are 50.2 percent of Ghana’s population. In this year, we are about 51%. We are more than the men. Nevertheless, women constitute the majority of informal sector (Farming, Fishing, Petty Trading, and so forth). The informal sector is said to be a major sector of the economy. it is this informal sector that women dominate. Obviously, the economy relied on women.
Currently, the nature of our economy is largely determined by external factors. The world now revolves around science, technology and technical innovations. Some of these technological and technical innovations control major areas of our economy and continue to influence the way we live.It is however important that, women position themselves so as to benefit from the new economic order (1) and (2), to neutralise the domination of men in these sectors of our economy. We must encourage a lot more women to remove the perceptions they have on Technical, Vocation Education, and Training (TVET). We must change the erroneous perceptions that, less academically good students are the ones for technical educations. That way, we can collectively own the future.
The purpose of Technical, Vocational Education, and Training (TVET) is to equip people with the technical and professional skills needed for socio-economic and industrial development of the economy. The emphasis is on training people for self-employment. It is an emphasis on science and technology. Technical and skills development that will deliver the needed labour for industrial development. Despite government efforts to strengthen TVET as a means of developing the needed skilled and human resource, infrastructure, enrolment, teaching logistics are still major problems to the Technical and Vocational education in this country.
We must remind ourselves that,technical skills are the driving forces of socio-economic development of any society. Arguably, women are major players in our economic and social development, we need to equip them. The new world which is technically and technological driven, is a signthat,as fast as we can, we must lay emphasis on training our women. It will help eliminate inequality and contribute largely to our socio-economic development. Most important, if many more women are trained, after school, even if they don’t have formal training, some of them can start business on their own. The Asian countries are doing similar things. Women in China, Malaysia, Singapore, and Taiwan are the ones moving the industries. They are the ones in charge of manufactory of the shirts, suits, shoes, and dresses we import to this country. The industrial development of these countries is obviously on their trained women.
Fellow woman, you can see from the market, our streets, homes that, the world is moving so fast. So many things are changing. Science and Technology give new looks to things we knewto do. To move to the top, and to be relevant in this dynamic world, we need to train and equip ourselves with knowledge and skills. Not just skills, smart and innovative skills that will make us globally competitive.