Mr Kofi S. Yamoah, the Managing Director of the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) has urged financial institutions to empower women in financial services especially investment to reduce the pitfalls they experience from some institutions.
He said it was necessary to empower women on finance and business in the private sector to be abreast with how to deal with financial institutions without losing or falling prey to some investment opportunities that takes advantage of their ignorance to gain wrongfully.
Mr Yamoah said this during the celebration of the ‘International Women’s Day’ organised by the Exchange on the theme, “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” to encourage women to fight against gender disparities in the country and beyond.
In the Exchange Sector, he explained, the ratio of female to male was 45:55 per cent, which was inappropriate and gave the assurance that the GSE would ensure that the gap was closed to 50 per cent.
He said in 2017, 44 Exchanges around the world commemorated the Day, while 65 observed it in 2018, adding that, they expected 75 Exchanges to celebrate the Day this year, a step he said the GSE would not be left out.
Mrs Elsie Addo Awadzi, the Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana who was the Keynote Speaker said a study had shown that globally, women still lagged behind their male counterparts in areas including economical, educational, health, and political sectors.
She said a report by the World Economic Forum, 2018, stated that women are 26 per cent less likely to be employed by men around the world and are also likely to earn about 24 per cent lesser than men at work.
The report also indicated that it could take about 108 years to close the current global gender gap and additional 202 years to bring about parity in the world, she said.
Mrs Awadzi noted that Ghana placed 89 among 149 participating countries that were sampled by the World Economic Forum for research in terms of gender gap, which she said was negative and needed to be given some thought by the country.
She emphasized that further studies had shown that female talents were among the least utilized around the world, saying, that should be discouraged.
According to the World Enterprise Survey on public and private sectors, only one female in 26 salaried workers in Africa is employed in Senior Management.
“A lot of reasons have contributed to the situation such as sub conscious biases against women and in some countries, women cannot own properties or go for bank loans without their husbands,” she said.
She called on all and sundry to renew their commitments to promote a more balanced representation of women in all situations, as women were key to sustainable growth.
Quoting Doctor Condoleezza Rice, the former US Secretary of State, Mrs Awadzi said: “So often it takes only one woman to make a difference, if you empower that woman with information and training or microloan, she can lift up her entire family and contribute to the success of the community. Multiply that one woman’s impact by a hundred or thousand and perhaps a million lives would change forever”.
Mr Joseph Akwasi Kuma, the Senior Country Officer of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) said it was estimated that including women in business could add trillions of dollars to the Gross Domestic Product globally.
Mrs Kosi A. Yankey, the Executive Director of the National Board for Small Scale Industries advised women to learn and equip their know-how in order to be assertive and outspoken constructively in all situations and work places.
She asked them to join empowering women networks to develop their potentials and as well learn on the job to avail themselves for opportunities.
“This is because, employers cannot employ a woman who cannot do the work because it will make their works difficult,” she added.