The wife of the Vice President, Mrs Samira Bawumia, has called for women’s inclusion in national development and asked African governments to prioritise women issues in decision-making processes.
She emphasised the need for women and girls to be given equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes.
She urged all to fight against all forms of sexual and gender-based violence and harmful practices against women, which retarded their economic development.
“Faces of Africa” Summit
Mrs Bawumia made the call when she delivered a keynote address at the “Faces of Africa” Summit at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in Maryland, USA.
The annual summit was held on the theme: “Achieving Gender Equality and Empowerment of Females: African Women on the Frontline”.
The theme falls in line with the vision of Mrs Bawumia’s not-for-profit organisation, Samira Empowerment and Humanitarian Projects (SEHP).
It was organised by the African Public Health Network (APHN) of the university and sought to promote conversations on public health and gender equality in Africa.
The event was also designed to showcase African culture and society and women who were making strides in the socio-economic and political spheres of the continent.
Mrs Bawumia lauded some African governments for their efforts to encourage women to participate in governance, saying there had been a significant progress in the advancement of women in Africa due to the deliberate efforts to remove barriers that inhibited women’s participation in politics and governance.
Quality health care
In the area of health, Mrs Bawumia, who is also a champion of maternal health, advocated the need for African governments to provide quality health care for women.
She said education and skill acquisition were essential for young girls to realise their potential and improving socio-economic growth.
Mrs Bawumia, through her foundation, has initiated a number of critical interventions in the areas of health, education and women empowerment, including the ‘Safe Delivery Project’, an initiative that seeks to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality in deprived communities in the country.
The foundation has also equipped and retooled selected health facilities in deprived communities in Ghana.
SEHP’s ‘Library-In-A-Box’ project has distributed over 40,000 books to 60 schools in 10 regions in fulfilment of a quest to improve literacy and instil a culture of reading among students in Ghana, especially the girl child.
A total of about 40,000 pupils are expected to benefit from the donation.
The SEHP, with support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), has launched a Coalition of People against Sexual and Gender Based Violence and Harmful Practices (CoPASH).
Mrs Bawumia was recently named the “Queen of Humanitarian Projects” by the Human Achievers Foundation in India.
She was also crowned the “African Woman of Excellence 2018” by the Africa Union and the Diasporan African Forum.
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