First lady Mrs Ernestina Naadu Mills has called on all stakeholders to put in more effort to empower females, especially the girl-child, through training to equip and empower them to live fulfilling lives.
This, she said, would enable them to realise their potentials and make meaningful contribution towards national development.
The First Lady said this in a speech read on her behalf at the 4th graduation and exhibition ceremony of Stemapet Cake and Floral Institute in Accra at the weekend.
Speaking on the theme, “Women Empowerment, The Role of the Caterer,” Mrs Mills noted that it was necessary for women to be empowered to match required skills and technical competencies with existing industrial and commercial needs.
This, according to her, would help place women in better positions to access and avail themselves of the numerous opportunities in the national and international spheres.
The First Lady stated that successive governments had continued to create the enabling environment for the implementation and realization of the agenda on the advancement and empowerment of women through the creation of the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs and provision of the relevant legal backing, among others, and urged other agencies to collaborate with government.
“Government alone cannot do it all,” she stated. “There is, therefore, the need for all relevant stakeholders to complement one another’s efforts and contribution in tackling women empowerment issues.”
Mrs Mills said the key to sustainable empowerment rested in continuous education and skills development, adding that, responsible parents and guardians should aim to equip their wards with employable skills through vocational, technical education and training.
She stated that caterers played critical roles in the national development process through their professional capacities and had helped to project the country’s culture through the local dishes. “I am happy to say most foreigners do highly appreciate our local dishes.”
Mrs Mills advised caterers to strictly observe and adhere to rules on quality assurance, personal and food hygiene as the least mistake or negligence could be fatal to human life.
“Much as we can in some circumstances deny ourselves some basic necessities, the same cannot be said about food and nutrition, basic hygiene, quality care, timely delivery and customer services,” she said.
Mrs Evelyn Asiedu, proprietor of the Institute, said it was committed to empowering the less privileged through training to realize their full potentials and to become self employed.
She said the theme for the event was chosen to encourage less privileged young women, especially those who could not get access to tertiary and secondary education, to use technical and vocational education as a means to enhance them.
“As graduates who are unemployed, we believe having a trade in the culinary industry would aid them to have a meaningful life and not to be left behind,” Mrs Asiedu said.
Nineteen students graduated with Miss Nelly Kyerewa Duah emerging the overall best student.