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Swiss Ambassador to Ghana Visits Bono Region -Praises Government for Recognising Potentials of Women in Nation Building

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The Swiss Ambassador to Ghana, Mrs. Simone Giger has glorified the people of Ghana and the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo led government for recognising the potentials of women in nation building by appointing more women to key political positions in the country.

The new Switzerland Ambassador to Ghana, gave the glorifications when she paid a courtesy call on the Bono Regional Minister, Hon. Justina Owusu Banahene on 23rd November 2022, to formally introduce herself to the Region and explore areas of collaboration. The call was part of her two-day working visit to the Bono Region.

Present at the meeting were the Bono Regional Coordinating Director, Mr. Andrews Okumah Nawil, Mr. Michael Kwabena Gyamfi, Deputy Director, Ms. Akua G. Gyamera, Human Resource Manager, Mr. Mark Yaw Danso, Head of Finance and Mr. Charles Kwame Edem Akpalu, Protocol Officer of Bono RCC.

The purpose of her visit touched on areas such as, climate change, women empowerment, cultural exchange, skills training and sister-city relationship, among others.

The Ambassador who was visibly happy to meet a colleague woman leading the agrarian region believed that the inclusion of women in such key positions will go a long way to alleviate the plight of women and further increase their participation in the governance of the country.

According to her, supporting more women into decision making would help to reverse the currently low levels of women’s participation and representation in political decision-making processes and in other spaces at all levels within the globe.

She said it’s very imperative to encourage more women in decision making as women prioritise policies that improve lives for everyone including quality education, health, tourism and social justice.

Swiss Ambassador (left), Bono Regional Minister (middle) and Bono Regional Coordinating Director (right)

On her part the Bono Regional Minister, Hon. Justina Owusu Banahene said women participation in decision making is not just a right, but also key to sustainable development.

“In a democracy, it is important that every part of the population is equally represented. “Having both men and women involved in decision-making broadens the perspectives, increases creativity and innovation, diversifies the pool of talents and competences, reduces conflicts, and improves the process of decision-making. Indeed, women’s participation in decision making in general has benefits not only to women but to the general society as a whole”, Bono Minister said.

According to Justina Owusu Banahene, it is unfortunate that there are still many barriers to overcome to enhance women’s participation in decision-making, attributing primarily to patriarchy or male dominance. Custom, law and even religion have also been used to rationalize and perpetuate these differential roles to the extent that some women themselves in typical traditional communities seem to have accepted and internalized them.

Bono Minister said women constitute about 51.2 per cent of the national population, adding that without their active participation in public discourse and decision-making process, it would be extremely difficult for the country to progress.

“Unfortunately, women participation in governance and at all levels of decision-making in the country is very low, that is why this government led by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has appointed more women in those key political position and that will also motivate younger women to brace themselves up for leadership positions,” She said.

The Bono Regional Minister, however expressed appreciation to the Swiss Ambassador, Her Excellency Simone Giger and was looking forward to partnering with her outfit to undertake the aforementioned projects within the Bono region.

Later, the Regional Minister and the Swiss team visited a school building project partly funded by Switzerland under the Decentralized Budget Support Programme. They also visited the capacity building and skills training center at Osofokrom, Near Korasua in the Sunyani Municipality where women are undergoing three-week capacity building and training in soap making to improve their livelihoods.

The training for 60 beneficiaries, with support from the Embassy of Switzerland in Ghana was organized by the Kavinang Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organization focused on community development and women’s economic empowerment.

Beneficiaries of the training would be taken through the production of soaps for bathing and washing in commercial quantities as well as the effective management of their finances to complement their seasonal farming activities.

The Bono Regional Minister, Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, entreated the participants and women in general to learn to add diverse handicraft and skill competencies to their activities for economic improvement.

She encouraged participants to ensure unity and cordial relationship and demonstrate good attitude towards work so they can add economic value to themselves and their families.

The Swiss Ambassador, Mrs. Simone Giger also met with the Omanhemaa of Sunyani Traditional Council, Nana Akosua Duaa Asor Brayie II.

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