Mr Daniel Syme, Upper East Deputy Regional Minister has challenged women and girls to take up technical trades as a profession.
He said girls should venture into trades such as electrical installations, auto mechanics, carpentry, masonry and plumbing among others, which is dominated by their male counterparts.
The Minister threw the challenge when he addressed girls and women, including other stakeholders, during the launch of the Gender Responsive Skills and Community Development Project (GRSCDP) Scholarship Scheme for Girls in the Non-Traditional Professional Trades at the Ghana Health Service Conference Hall in Bolgatanga, over the weekend.
The goal of the project, which is being executed by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) and implemented by the Department of Women, is to contribute to gender equitable socio-economic development in Ghana.
The Upper East Deputy Regional Minister indicated that though Ghana had achieved gender parity in primary education, girl’s enrollment in technical and vocational education training was relatively low, accounting for only 15 per cent of the total enrollment.
“Where girls have access to technical and vocational education they are even marginalized in the types of trades reserved for females, with little prospect for carrier advancement and increased incomes as indicated by the Ghana Living Standard Survey five”
He attributed the barriers of girls and women participation in Technical and Vocational Training in Ghana to socio-culture practices, including societal norms, prejudices, too few female role modules, ignorance and lack of encouragement.
To help address the negative trend, the Deputy Minister indicated that the Government of Ghana and the African Development Bank in 2009, launched the four year GRSCDP at a total cost of $14.63 million, with 59 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) throughout the country benefiting, of which the Upper East had five.
He charged all the MMDAs to work assiduously to ensure that the programme becomes successful and also entreated parents to avail their female children to be enrolled into the programme.
The Regional Director of Department of Women, Miss Jocelyn Adii said the project, since its inception among others, had sponsored about 524 girls in non- traditional professional trades in the country, out of which 49 of were from the Upper East.
The project, she noted, had also provided 125 computers and 10 motorbikes to the Community Development Vocational Institutes and built the capacities of 314 instructors in competency based training methodologies.
Miss Adii urged all stakeholders to support the programme to realize its fullest benefits by helping to sensitize parents and communities to allow girls to enroll in the programme.
The occasion, organised by the MoGCSP and Department of Women, was under the theme” Women Empowerment, a key to sustainable Socio-economic Development”