The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Prada Group have equipped 18 vulnerable young women and girls with fashion design skills for social change and economic-empowerment.
The young women and girls were trained under private companies with expertise in the fashion industry across the world, a six-month teaching and learning programme dubbed ‘Fashion Expressions. The Stories She Wears.’
The programme was aimed at leveraging on the social and economic power of fashion as a vehicle to promote women’s empowerment, and sexual reproductive health in Ghana and Kenya.
Dr Wilfred Ochan, Country Representative of United Nations Population Fund in Ghana said inculcating these skills into young women and girls was to ensure all young passions came to reality, and to overcome future women vulnerabilities.
He said this at the close out fashion show event organised by the UNFPA in partnership with Prada Group and International needs Ghana in Accra.
He said aside the skills they have gained, they have also gained the ability to lead groups, come up with own ideas and creativity.
‘They have been given the means to earn a livelihood and gain an economic benefit, the training taught them how to use family planning, seek health care and adopt healthy lifestyle,’ he added.
Mr Ochan said this initiative had added to reducing the rate of unemployment in the country.
The training programme through the reproductive health and gender-based violence has helped these vulnerable young women and girls defend their rights and make informed choices, he said.
He said the private fashion industry had agreed to work with these young vulnerable girls and women for a better future.
Mr Charles Abani, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Ghana said the fashion industry had become increasingly beneficial and was generating more income for nations, however, training young women and girls in fashion design was another key factor to generate revenue for Ghana.
He said the programme was not just a fashion design project but served as a platform and voice to unlock the potential of young people for economic growth.
Mr Abani said they would no longer be marginalised in society since they have acquired the skills to establish their own businesses, adding that this would ensure their economic independence, and support families and friends.
‘The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 17 talks about partnership, therefore, I entreat all private partners and stakeholders to join hands with the UNFPA for effective implementations policies to eradicate poverty,’ he said.
The skills acquired will help them attain their ideal goals, become fashion designers, build their own brands and become employers in the future.
UNFPA is the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, its mission is to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.
Source: Ghana News Agency