Placing women in leadership positions is not only the responsibility of government, but also the united efforts of society to maintain a balance between men and women, the German Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Christoph Retzlaff has stated.
According to him, it was important that the issue was discussed dispassionately since in his own estimation, many top positions, both in the public and private sector, was dominated by men.
Ambassador Retzlaff, was speaking at an inspirational and musical event dubbed, “Sounds of Gender: Engendered, not Endangered” geared towards women empowerment.
It was held in collaboration with the German Embassy in Accra and the Goethe Institut and was attended by women leaders and representatives from 26 African countries.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Deutsche Gesellschaft fϋr Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Africa Department’s Gender Network Meeting, a bi-annual forum for Gender Specialists and Focal Persons within the Africa Department, he cited for instance that at the last meeting of the Economic Community of West Arica States (ECOWAS), there were no female leaders at the meeting, adding that, more women needed to be empowered to take up many more positions in each country.
“The situation now as compared to the 70s is much better as a lot of progress has been made,” Ambassador Retzlaff added.
Ms Yaa Akoto, a Ghanaian-German musician also known as “Y’akoto” who performed at the event said women in society have to believe in themselves and must pursue their dreams whether or not they conform to the choices made by their family or society.
She explained that from her life experience, there were many instances that were disadvantageous to her due to her gender as a woman, but through perseverance and determination, she was able to overcome them.
“Don’t be afraid and don’t be discouraged, whatever mistakes you make will turn into experience for you, so don’t be belittled and stand up for what you believe in and you will succeed,” she added.
Present at the occasion were the Director of Goethe Institut, Heike Friesel, and Country Director for GIZ Mr Alan Walsch.