The Second Lady, Mrs Samira Bawumia has urged women to broaden their horizons in knowledge and acquisition of valuable skills to make them competitive and to improve their chances of wielding influence and taking up leadership positions.
She said education was key to unlocking potential and women must take it upon themselves to push the boundaries and break frontiers.
‘It is not enough to sit and wait, hoping that the tides will change. We must dictate our own progress, and it is through education that we become open to the countless possibilities available to us,’ she said.
Mrs Bawumia was speaking at the 5th Anniversary Celebration of the Forestry Commission Ladies Association (FCLA) in Accra on the theme: ‘Empowering the Forestry Commission Woman; Five Years of FCLA.’
She said it was in recognition of the importance of education that the Akufo-Addo led government instituted the Free SHS initiative to ensure that all children and especially girls’ get access to education to enable them become global competitors and empower them in the process.
Mrs Bawumia said creating and improving access to opportunities was another way through, which women could rise to the top and said government was working assiduously to achieve the appointment of women to at least 30 percent of available public office.
‘Opportunities abound but we must seek them out and take advantage of them. This means that you must look out for growth opportunities within the organisation, or within your department and take the steps to improve yourself so that you can readily apply for and fill these positions,’ she said.
Mrs Bawumia urged the Forestry Commission Ladies Association to create a mentorship programme, which seeks out young girls and women in secondary and tertiary institutions to enlighten them on opportunities available to them.
‘The association can even go further by creating internship opportunities and organising seminars to whip up interests. This way, you influence the future of the Forestry Commission while empowering young women,’ she said.
She asked the members to challenge themselves and your leadership to do more, to reach more people and to contribute to the progress of the organisation and the nation as a whole.
Mr Kwdwo Owusu Afriyie, the Chief Executive of Forestry Commission, said the Association urged the Ladies Association to assess work done so far and explore ways how it could help improve and win more women into the forestry field.
He pledged his unflinching support for the ladies to rise up the academic ladder and to help enrol in other capacity building programmes to hone their skills for the various offices.
Mrs Roselyn Fosuah Adjei Zuta, President of the FCLA, said the Association had engaged in numerous activities nationwide to sensitise stakeholders on the mandate of the Commission in Forest and Wildlife Resources Management and how they could contribute effectively to the attainment of the mandate.