The First Lady, Her Excellency Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo has been honored by Women in Logistics And Transport (WiLAT), the professional women arm of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT-Ghana), for passionately taking up the responsibilities of promoting the welfare of women and children in Ghana.
At what they described as a memorable meeting with Her Excellency the First Lady, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, WiLAT also took the opportunity to express CILT-Ghana’s gratitude to her for attending this year’s WiLaT Ghana Day.
In a citation in her honour which was read by the Chairperson for WiLAT, Dr. Doreen Owusu-Fianko said the First Lady’s contribution to the growth and development of women and children have been enormous and that the Rebecca Foundation’s supporting initiatives of improving the economic status of women, enhancing literacy and learning skills in children, improving environmental health and sanitation are laudable feats.
The citation also stated that, “When the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital challenge came to your notice, you rolled up your sleeves and in an unprecedented manner, mobilize huge resources and in record time, established the state-of-the-art MOTHER and BABY UNIT at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi. The amazinfg feat endeared you to Ghanaians from all walks of life who have since then, looked up to you as a true and beloved MOTHER OF THE NATION. WiLAT is proud of you and is therefore honored to recognize you as the ‘ROLE MODEL IN CRITICAL LOGISTICS.’”
Speaking to the Chairperson for WiLAT, Dr. Doreen Owusu-Fianko after the presentation to the First Lady, she averred that the First Lady was recognized as a role model in critical logistics and that it is in order to do her the honor of presenting to her a citation to that effect.
She also revealed that WiLAT as part of their support to the Rebecca Foundation also made donations of toiletries from Lexta Ghana Ltd, the distributors of Yazz range of products to be distributed to the Mother and Baby Units across the country.
Dr. Doreen Owusu-Fianko however bemoaned the low penetration of women in the Logistics and Transport industry, saying, that is as result of certain challenges such as intimidation and sexual harassments and the industry being considered as a male field only.
“People feel that one needs to be strongly built to handle some equipment. But we at WiLAT believe that women are also equally energetic to take up jobs that hitherto are considered male-dominated. We need women pilots, women drivers, women truck drivers. Now is the time for women to take up such roles,” she said.
Also, the President of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT-Ghana), Mr. Ebo Hammond and other CILT-Ghana officials who were at the meeting to support their women, said in an interview that CILT is concern about the under-representation of women in the logistics and transport (L&T) sectors.
According to him, the logistics and maritime sectors still remain a male dominant sector when globally, not more than 3% of the workforce in the world’s maritime and logistics sectors are women.
“In the more developed countries, this percentage is a little higher. The situation in Ghana is not better than the global picture. Currently in the institute, only 8% of females hold chartered membership (senior grade),” he revealed.
Ebo Hammond also averred that the under-representation of women in the industry are as result of factors which have to do with religious, socio-cultural, racial and other stereotypes such as ‘transport is a man’s job’, which serve as resistors and constraints to women in getting jobs in the sector.
These factors, according to him work together to further reduce opportunities for female education which place women in a more disadvantaged position to be occupationally mobile.
He said: “Out of the number working in the L&T sectors, most are found in the ‘soft’ clerical and administrative work and very few in the ‘hard’, engineering, piloting, machine operating, etc. work. This calls for a concerted effort at encouraging and supporting more women to enter into the various fields of the L&T sectors.”
With this development, CILT is proposing the encouragement of affirmative action in the enrolment of females in Logistics and Transport education, transport engineering and other technical studies.
Commending the first lady, Ebo Hammond said the office of the 1st Lady radiates positive energy and influence which are important to support women’s socio-economic empowerment, hence CILT Ghana through WiLaT will be exploring areas of partnership with the Rebecca Foundation in the area of critical logistics aimed at empowering mothers and babies in particular and women in Logistics and Transport in general.
He expressed gratitude to the first lady for the hard work in the areas of the provision of critical logistics to save mothers and their babies and the general role she is playing in women empowerment.
BY: PROSPER AGBENYEGA