A Retired National Director at the Department of Gender, Children and Social Protection and Queen Mother of Nandom Traditional Area Pognaa Cate Bob-Milliar Yelkabei says payment of bride price should be viewed as token to the girl’s family for loss of her services to the family and not fees paid as purchase for the woman.

Pognaa Yelkabei noted that men take advantage of payment of bride price to see women as their properties and treat them as a beast of burden and do not allow them to take decisions for themselves that directly affect their lives.

She was speaking at a Maiden Congress and Inauguration of Network for Young Women Empowerment in Wa, the Upper West Regional capital.

The Congress Organised by the National Youth Authority (NYA) in partnership with Plan Ghana International, was on the theme: “Engaging and Empowering Young Women to Champion Issues that affect them.”

The event was to facilitate the process of addressing some negative cultural practices that impede the progress of women in Ghana.

The Queen Mother, Pognaa Yelkabei attributed the low number of women in public life and also in the corridors of power to the fact that women are regarded as less important by the society. 

“It is importance that men in particular should recognize and appreciate the important roles that women play in the overall discourse on development. Men should not only recognize and appreciate but they must also find it necessary to join hands together with women to realising the dream of equal partnership for the realization of wider societal objectives.”

She said there is the need for a vigorous campaign to educate couples on the issue of household decisions and how non-inclusion of one’s partner tends to affect every single member of the house.

Pognaa Yelkabei stressed the importance for society to be re-oriented to see men and women as equal partners.

The Acting Upper West Regional Director of the National Youth Authority, Archibald Donkor Junior said the potentials of women to contribute immensely towards societal development is on the radar of the international community.

He indicated that the situation is seen in various international conventions and interventions on women empowerment and is time to give practical meaning to these interventions. 

Ghana as a member of United Nations he said is enjoined to work towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which is call to end poverty and ensure prosperity.

He said young women in this regard should be well positioned to facilitate its attainment. Programme Unit Manager of Plan International Ghana, Eric Ayaba observed that developing the girl-child is crucial to national development and not resolution of cultural practices as others may think and entreated all to support the campaign. 

Story by Dennis Bebane

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