Dr. Leticia Adelaide Appiah, Executive Director of the National Population Council (NPC), has advised women to strive harder to attain economic freedom and contribute their quota to national development.
The Executive Director reiterated that women have peculiar hidden talents that need to be harnessed for their benefit and the society and nation as a whole.
She made this assertion in an interview with this reporter on the occasion of International Women’s Day celebrated on Sunday.
Dr. Appiah underscored that, in countries where women’s rights are cherished and respected, they thrive and occupy higher positions in society.
She noted that in countries where women are restricted and ‘shelved’ there is negative effect on the development of that country as women were ‘denied’ the opportunity to add their quota for national development.
According to her, it is very important to celebrate International Women’s Day to bring to the fore some religious, cultural and traditional practices which undermine the potentials of women and the need to expunge such practices.
Dr. Appiah stressed that gender equality is a necessary tool for the progress of the girl child and added that girls must be treated with dignity to make them attain their aspirations.
“When gender equity is not taken care of, it suppresses the girl child and addressing their needs would make them go a long way to be responsible citizens”, she said.
She further indicated that physiological needs of the girl child must be of national concern because the reproductive needs of a woman are not just for women but a collective responsibility.
She emphasised that, when a nation wants to enjoy a quality life, it must see to women empowerment stressing that, “what affects a part of a population, affects all and sundry” and thus issues affecting women should be regarded as a universal concern and addressed accordingly.
The Executive Director advised men to support women who aspire to gain meaningful achievements in life and charging women to remain focused on their goal and not be intimidated.
Dr. Appiah advised that family planning should be reconsidered as an economic intervention and advised women to nurture their talents to make them attain a good economic status.
“What we have not done as a country is to position family planning not just as a health concern but as a poverty intervention because family planning is central to development, both at the family and national level,” she said.