By Adu Koranteng
Ghana’s Foreign Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has urged women in leadership to help set goals that will address challenges that women go through during conflicts.
Addressing participants at the first women foreign ministers’ meeting which took place in the Canadian city of Montreal, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, suggested that women foreign ministers’ group should set goals aimed at addressing violence against girls and women especially during conflict
She recounted her experience in politics saying initially it was not encouraging but with time it has improved. Madam Ayorkor Botchwey told her colleagues that Ghana has introduced free secondary education and because girls outnumber boys it would eventually inure to the benefit of Ghana.
Numbering seventeen, four out of female foreign ministers were from Africa including Ghana, Kenya, Namibia and South Africa. Ghana’s minister for foreign affairs and regional integration, Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey further urged her colleagues to use their office to empower girls and women to enable them to achieve dreams and use education to fight against systems that are inimical to the development of women.
“The countries that participated in the first women foreign ministers’ meeting include Canada, Andorra, Bulgaria, Norway, Costa Rica, Ghana, Guatemala, Indonesia, Kenya, Namibia, Norway, Panama, Saint Lucia, South Africa, Sweden and the European Union.
The idea to bring together women foreign ministers under one umbrella was mooted by the EU’s foreign affairs and security policy representative, Federica Mogherini. High on the agenda are women’s empowerment, political participation and leadership, strengthening democracy, advancing global peace and security and eliminating gender based violence. The Canadian foreign minister, Madam Chrystia Freeland said the group is better placed to influence policies and serve as role models for young girls to aim high in society. She called for education and advocacy as tools to push women empowerment agenda forward.
The EU representative on foreign Affairs and security policy, madam Federica Mogherini noted that the rise of women in any society will lead to the harnessing of their potential and will go a long way to make the world better because women are more than men. The EU stressed that time has come for governments across the globe to roll out policies to remove cultural and any system that undermines women from using their talents to serve society.