UN Women estimate that globally we will not reach gender equality in the highest positions of power for another 130 years. Across the world, the UK government is working with other nations and civil society organisations to hold Ambassador for a Day competition.
In Ghana, the British High Commission in partnership CAMFED, Plan International Ghana, and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) launched their own Ambassador for a Day competition in February.
The Ambassador for a Day competition provides winners with an opportunity to spend a day with a full-time Ambassador. Each winner will also receive long-term mentoring and care from the Mission they work with.
Together British High Commissioner, Harriet Thompson, Norwegian Ambassador, Ingrid Mollestad, French Ambassador Jules Armand Aniambossou and Swiss Ambassador Simone Giger have spent the last month reviewing the applications before deciding on four winners.
Congratulating the winners, British High Commissioner Harriet Thompson said: “Today of course we celebrate our amazing winners, but we also celebrate every single woman who applied, we celebrate our incredible partners: CAMFED, Plan International Ghana and UNFPA, and we celebrate women and girls the length and breadth of this country. This competition reminds us of the need for equity, the need to create space for equality so that men and women around the world can stand shoulder-to-shoulder.
“This year we celebrate Ambassador for a Day as the UK launches a new Women and Girls Strategy, putting gender equality firmly at the centre of everything we do.”
The competition, which is now in its second year, forms part of the British High Commission’s ‘Africa Gender and Equalities Month’. Throughout March the Mission is marking and celebrating gender and equality by holding roundtables and seminars, sharing the work of partners and holding discussions to interrogate, learn from and understand more about gender and equality in today’s Ghana.
Speaking ahead of the event Norwegian Ambassador, Ingrid Mollestad said: “Together, we believe the programme will help to bridge the gender inequality gap, and support the empowerment of women in Ghana. I am excited about spending the day with one of the inspiring winners, congratulations to them all.”
Today (Friday 17th March), the four winners: Wilhelmina Larweh, Tipagya Yahaya, Umar Wasila and Martha Allotey, will join the four Ambassadors and representatives from CAMFED, Plan International and UNFPA at the British High Commissioner’s Residence in Accra to formally announce the winners and celebrate their success.
Ahead of the award, winner of the competition Yahaya Shekuratu Tipagya said”As an Ambassador for a Day, I have a strong desire to learn from experienced diplomats, thrive in a fast-paced and challenging environment, and develop skills that will contribute to my education and career.”
Another winner Umar Wasila also said;
“During my shadowing experience, I am hopeful to learn about the Ambassador’s role, understand what an Ambassador does and the day-to-day functions at the High Commission.”
Wilhelmina Ogerh Opesika Lawerh-Lawerh (matched with the British High Commissioner)
Wilhelmina Ogerh Opesika Lawerh-Lawerh is 19 years old from Ashiaman in the Greater Accra Region.
Wilhelmina is a 2022 graduate of Ahantaman Girls’ Senior High School in Western Region where she offered General Science. She is also a recent alumni of the Youth Exchange And Study Abroad (YES) programme.
She is self-motivated and always optimistic about situations. She has served as an active leader at the Ahantaman Girls’ Senior high school taking the role as the President of her school’s robotics club. Wilhelmina was also active in leading community service projects which includes her donation of self-made liquid soap and nose masks to her junior high school during Covid-19 in 2020 and a Christmas party for Save Them Young Orphanage in 2022.
She enjoys writing her own poems inspired by her own life experiences. Wilhelmina is an impact oriented young lady who is so much passionate about bringing positive change in society. Wilhelmina wants to be a medical doctor, specifically a Paediatrician in future as well as an author.
- Shekuratu Tipagya Yahaya – (matched with the Swiss Ambassador)
Shekuratu Tipagya Yahaya is 17 years old. With support from CAMFED, completed Tamale Senior High School with aggregate 7. Shekuratu was the assistant class prefect in her class and due to her academic discipline and excellence, was part of the National Science and Mathematics Quiz (NSMQ) team in the school. She was also nominated to represent the school in the Science, Technology, Mathematics and Innovation Education (ST MIE) camp held at academic city university college with another male colleague in 2021. Tipaya participated with two others to represent Tamale Senior High School in the Regional Girls Science and Mathematics Quiz, 2022 and they emerged winners.
After she completed her secondary education, she volunteered to tutor mathematics at the Monawara JHS in her community. She also mentors adolescent girls in her community to make better decision for themselves.
As a CAMFED Association member, she joins other members in the network to carry out advocacy activities including sensitization on teenage pregnancy and child marriage as well as the donation of educational materials to children. Shekuratu is a diligent young lady and currently offers MBCHB (medicine) at the University for Development Studies. Upon graduation, she would specialise to become a neurosurgeon.
3. Umar Wasila (matched with the French Ambassador)
Wasila Umar is 20 years old. She completed Business Senior High School in 2020. On completion of her secondary education, she was inducted into the CAMFED Association network. As a member of the network in Tamale, Wasila joins her colleagues to spend time with school children in selected basic schools to sensitize them on the need to stay and complete school.
They also carry out philanthropic activities including the donation of educational materials to students to encourage them to stay and complete school. To support herself, Wasila worked at an internet cafe where she saved some money to apply for her tertiary education.
She gained admission to the University for Development Studies and in her second year, CAMFED came to her aid to pay her tuition fees. She is currently studying Development Education in Social Science and aspires to be to be a lecturer and a role model in her community.
- Martha Allotey (matched with the Norwegian Ambassador)
Martha Allotey is a student of the Christian Methodist Senior High School in form 3 offering General Arts. Martha lives in Bubiashie with her grandmother in Greater Accra Region and is sometimes supported by her Assembly member and other well-meaning neighbours.
She has been a member and Reproductive Health Education and Services for Youth (RHESY) facilitator of the YOLE Girls Speak Club. The YOLE project is based in Bubiashie under the Purim African Youth Development Platform (PAYDP) / UNDFPA’s ‘Empowering Adolescent Girls programme’ since 2020. Martha wants to be a fashion designer.
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