Local non-governmental organisation 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 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 toward sustainable self-reliancy. 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-privileged women who drop out of school due to early pregnancy – teenagers who are unable to go back to school due to discrimination. 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-privileged, and one of the areas we focus is women and children. 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. We, therefore 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 situation, which will further help the whole community.”
According to her, WIAfrica visualises 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.
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 the 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 plague women. “People adhere to traditions and culture than supporting members of their families. Tradition is life – it 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 and the dignity of human beings should be condemned by everyone. We all have to come together to condemn such negative practices; and that is why I said people seem to enjoy protecting culture and protecting traditions more than protecting members of their families.
“Government needs the support of the private sector. Development is not for one sector, and it is not for one person. Even the laws that are made for the ministries are not for just the ministries, it is also for the private sector to follow a particular vision and dream toward the development of our country. So they have to follow their vision, mandate, their objectives, and 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 has 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 organisation 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 one another.