Kayayei empowered to enhance future aspirations

Accra, The Purim African Youth Development Platform (PAYDP) has held a follow-up mentoring session for Kayayei to assess the impact on beneficiaries under the Chief Justice Mentoring Programme.

The Programme, instituted by Justice Mrs Georgina T. Wood in 2007, seeks to expose students to the structure of the court system, as well as whip up their interest in the legal profession.

The interaction helped participants to share their stories and fully appreciate and accept their civic roles and increase the desire for responsible leadership in the future.

The two-day mentoring session with support from the UNFPA was in line with the global programme to end child marriage in the country.

It was on the theme: Provision of Integrated Legal Literacy, Livelihood Skills Training and Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for Female Head Porters (kayayei) in Selected Urban Markets in Three Regions in Ghana.

MrsAkuXornamKevi, the Executive Director of PAYDP, said the intervention was to inspire vulnerable adolescent Kayayei to make informed decisions, improve their economic status and reduce their vulnerability irrespective of the challenges.

She said child marriage was a global phenomenon, recognized as one of the major impediments to the development of a country and the full realization of the rights of children.

The Government of Ghana in 2014, accepted the universal call to end child marriage in accordance with several international conventions and declarations, took measurable steps to address the issue comprehensively across the nation.

MrsKevi noted that it was for this reason the UNFPA in partnership with other development partners focused on ending child marriage in Ghana hence, the initiative.

The Kayayei selected from markets in Accra, Techiman and Kumasi are mainly from the Northern zone, who have not completed their second cycle education and are married or at risk of child marriage.

MrsKevi said this, however, provided the basis for the girls to obtain further knowledge and build-worth in order for them to pursue further education.

Indeed, an improvement in any form of the lives of these adolescent females will have rippling effect on their immediate families and the society as a whole, she stated.

She said for Ghana to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) it required transformative shifts, integrated approaches and new solutions in other to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

MrsKevi noted that based on current trajectories, existing interventions would not suffice to achieve a planet 50-50 by 2030. Adding that innovative approaches that disrupted business as usual were central to removing structural barriers and ensuring that no woman nor girl was left behind.

Dr Doris MawuseAglobitse, the UNFPA Programme Analyst and Communication and Resource Mobilization, urged the Kayayei to put in extra efforts to build a formidable future for themselves.

She said Kayayei over the period have been marginalized and urged them to take advantage of the second chance given them through the mentorship programme to make life a success.

The Kayayei were taken through the laws on child marriage, sexual and gender based violence, the constitutional provisions protecting girls and women, leadership and mentorship session, effective leadership, personal branding and career growth for young women, goal setting and networking.

Ms Janet Poku-Kwatey, a beneficiary, express gratitude to the UNFPA and the Chief Justice for initiating such a commendable programme and advised other Kayayei not to let the market be their last stop but rather work hard to move forward.

Source: Ghana News Agency