BY BENJAMIN TANDOH
CONCERNS HAVE been raised about the state of furniture used at some important State functions.
During the launch in Accra last month of the ‘HeForShe’ campaign, an initiative by the United Nations (UN) to promote gender equality and empower women, the DAILY HERITAGE observed that the chairs for the dignitaries at the high table were in bad state.
The event, which was spearheaded by the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection, attracted dignitaries such as the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the sector minister, Ms Otiko Afisa Djaba, Ministers of State, Members of Parliament, members of the Diplomatic Corps and traditional rulers among others.
But the chairs at the high table where the President sat were an embarrassment to the nation.
Some dignitaries at the function who observed the scrappy nature of the chairs expressed surprise in separate interviews with the DAILY HERITAGE.
“How much does a chair cost?” was the question one of the dignitaries asked during an interaction with the paper.
Barely a month after the event, the paper has learnt that the chairs to such important functions do not come from the Presidency, but are brought in by the organisers.
In an interview with the paper, Mr Gabriel Aryee, Brand and Marketing Executive, 9189 Media Consult, expressed his disappointment about the use of worn-out chairs at State events.
According to him, using furniture which is in a bad state at events where the President would be in attendance would destroy the image of the country, especially to the outside world.
“There is the possibility that the chairs might break or create some unwanted scene at the event, which will take away the importance of that event,” he told the paper.
He therefore urged the government to take issues of this nature seriously in order to achieve its aim of attracting foreign investors.
“We should showcase to the world that we have able and competent artisans in the country who can produce quality products for our State functions. We shouldn’t turn blind eyes to things like this,” Mr Aryee said.
Ghana, on December 12, 2017, became one of the internationally recognised countries in the ‘HeForShe’ global campaign for gender equality and women empowerment initiated by the UN.
The country officially endorsed the ‘HeForShe’ movement with a mammoth national launch led by the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on December 12, 2017.
At the event, President Akufo-Addo affirmed his commitment to promoting gender equality, women participation in politics and decision making.
According to him, “inequality has an unbearable burden and cost on our economy, society and the development of our nation. Today, I join the millions of people around the world who stand together to create a bold, visible force for gender equality and say I am a ‘HeForShe’.”
He further urged all decision-makers to support policies and programmes that empower women and girls.
“I invite lawmakers to continue their work in advancing progress for women and girls’ rights across the nation. I invite traditional leaders, as gatekeepers of our moral and cultural values, to work in helping to tear down the cultural barriers which prevent our women and girls from being equal citizens.
“I invite you all to become champions of women’s rights, and agents of change, in and out of our borders,” the President said.
He also charged men and boys across all communities in the country to become agents of change, and join the ‘HeForShe’ campaign.
“Today, I commit to giving full support to the three focus areas under the ‘HeForShe’ platform for action in Ghana: to end child marriage and negative cultural and traditional practices; to increase women’s participation and representation in political/decision-making spheres, by passing the Affirmative Action Bill in 2018; and to increase women’s economic empowerment, through capacity building and a healthy business environment,” he said
Ms Djaba condemned the various social and cultural practices against women and girls such as the female genital mutilation, child marriage, forced marriage, sexual exploitation, human trafficking, violence against women and girls, rape, defilement and widowhood rites among others.
She said “for Ghana to achieve gender equality we must strive to create a conducive and enabling environment where men and boys will rise in support of women and girls; where men will support their women to do the household chores like helping to cook for the family, going grocery shopping, preparing the children for school, supporting their women to climb the economic ladder, supporting girls’ education and skills development and encouraging the general growth of women and girls”.