Ghana’s Free Senior High School initiative introduced in September 2017 has been touted as one of the biggest opportunities being provided for girls especially those in the rural areas to get access to education.
The initiative will tremendously increase the numbers of women who will have the basis to promote their own welfare and that of their family. It is in this regard, that the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Otiko Afisa Djaba has urged African women leaders to push for the Free SHS initiative to become an Africa Policy to help get more girls into school as a bid to promote women welfare.
Addressing African Women Leaders on the sidelines of the ongoing sixty-second United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UN-CSW62) at the United Nations Headquarters, New York, she stated that the initiative in Ghana has given ninety thousand (90,000) people access to second cycle institution.
For her, unless every woman is educated, it will be impossible for the world and Africa in particular to have the numbers we need in decision making.
“We have initiated ‘operation get off the street for a better life project to get every child of school going age into school this September. It is a five-year programme and we are doing it with the Ministry of Education as well as the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.”
She called for a paradigm shift looking at the patriarchal society in most African countries.
“We need to change the mental attitude of our people that the man being the leader of the home cannot take us to the type of development Africa needs. The women are more than the men but we have our 16-year-old son invited to community decision making programmes and the mother who brought him up left at home. This is something Africa must address. We need a speedy mindset change, paradigm shift. In Ghana, the Black Stars have not brought gold but the Black Queens have brought gold yet the black stars are paid more than the queens this is unacceptable”.