‘Empowering teenage mothers high on WIAfrica agenda’
By Eugene Davis
Local non-governmental organization with international focus, Women of Imperium Africa (WIAfrica) has set its sights on supporting less privileged girls who drop out of school due to pregnancy and other forms of discrimination.
The move is part of the organisation’s flagship programme programme called ‘wear her a uniform’ where they intend to partner other institutions to drive this objective of assisting these teenagers.
WIAfrica has a strong desire to impact and change the lives of women & children towards sustainable self-reliance. WIAfrica is committed to the empowerment of women within society through Female-led initiatives with the intention of improving the lives of women in the various societies in Ghana.
Speaking at the launch of the group, its President, Lesley Aidoo-Mensah told journalists that ““We want to focus on less privilege women who drop out of school due to early pregnancy -teenagers who are unable to go back to school due to discrimination amongst the others, this is very significant and unique to our cause.
We are coming up with a programme called ‘wear her a uniform’ where we are going to partner with institutions who are championing that area as well, with woman of imperium we believe in helping the less privilege and one of the areas is women and children and we believe that the teenager is still a child and in our part of the world. We don’t treat teenagers as children simply because they have gotten pregnant and we want the community to know that regardless of the situation or circumstance of their pregnancy they are still children, and so they need to be properly educated and enlightened and taken out of that and educated properly which will help the whole community.
According to her, WIAfrica visualizes the creation of a community that thrives in the influencing of both women & children through self- empowerment, mutual empowerment and social empowerment throughout the continent of Africa.
The Director of the Department of Gender at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Rev. Dr. Mrs. Comfort Asare, stated that government needs the private sector to support development and urged WIAfrica to follow its vision and objectives it has set for itself.
She also called on the rank and file to condemn negative practices such as Female Genital Mutilation and accusations of witchcraft which plaque women.
“People adhere to traditions and culture than supporting members of their families, tradition is life -is part of us everything we do is guided by our traditions and culture but there are times when we really need to consider the impact, or the negative effects it has on human beings.
Cultural practices like FGM, witchcraft accusations and so many things that destroy humanity, that destroy the dignity of human beings, should be condemned by everyone, we all have to come together to condemn such negative practices that is why I said people seem to enjoy protecting culture, protecting traditions than to protect members of their families.
Government needs the private sector to support. development is not for one sector, is not for one person, laws that are made even for the ministries are not for the ministries alone, it is also for the private sector for them to follow a particular vision and dream towards the development of our country, so they have to follow their vision, mandate and their objectives whatever they set for themselves to do, that is what they have to adhere to.
They should know that the role they are coming to play will complement the efforts of government, a lot of people are playing their roles but we still see a lot more women, children and even men and boys suffering and that alone tells us that Women of Imperium Africa, they have come to also play their role and contribute to the development of our country.”
The occasion was also used to induct 20 members into the group as well as swearing in of executives.
The organization focuses on empowering teenage mothers, orphans and vulnerable children, poor women, unemployed women, female domestic violence victims, the poor in general and persons with disabilities.
WIAfrica has a goal of having 1 billion girls and women learn how to love themselves and support each other.