The Ghana Association of University Women (GAWU), whose primary objective is to empower women and girls through lifelong education has been launched at a ceremony at the University of Cape Coast.
GAWU is a network of women in Universities and organisations in Ghana with its mother association, Graduate Women International (GWI) in Geneva, Switzerland.
Delivering the welcome address, the Interim National President of GAWU, Mrs. Mildred Asmah said GAWU was committed towards promoting issues of girls and women in the country. She noted that through consistent efforts, the association has been able to establish chapters in sister universities. She also announced that one of their members was serving on the Ugandan Rural Curriculum Development Board whilst another member has been invited to join the panel at the incoming triennial conference of GWI to be held in August.
Mrs. Asmah said the association which was established last year has an interim national executives and added that it was through the hardwork of the team that has brought the association to the limelight. She noted that the association secured funding to organise an empowerment programme for some selected girls from Akotokyir Anglican School. She further indicated that the project would be replicated in other schools in the surrounding communities of UCC. She explained that the project was aimed at empowering the girl child with critical knowledge and skills to face barriers that affect their lives.
Launching the association, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Prof. George K. T. Oduro noted that the objectives of the association was an indication that GAWU would be a great asset to UCC. He urged the association to encourage other women in the university to strive to pursue degree programmes noting that “If you put the right measures in place to assist other women they can also further their education to become graduates.”
Prof. Oduro noted that women should be treated with dignity saying, “Any person who treats women with dignity is a dignified person and this should be a lesson for men to balance the scale by respecting women for the role they play in the family.” He expressed worry about the engagement of young women in criminal activities in the country and therefore charged the association to work towards educating girls through their empowerment programmes. He expressed gratitude to the founding president of the association, Mrs. Asmah for implementing the knowledge and ideas she acquired at the Women Conference.
The chairman for the function, Prof. Kofi Awusabo Asare said that the essence of networking was to share resources with the aim of providing opportunities, building capabilities and creating second chance for others. He called on the association to promote peer mentoring at all levels of their work.
Representatives of other women groups and local chapters of GAWU who were present at the function also gave solidarity messages.