ACCRA, Ghana- Efforts by African countries to empower women have seen great success across the continent, according to Sam Ntelamo, International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Resident Representative to the African Union and United Nations Economic Commission on Africa. He observed that, unlike decades ago, many more African women are getting into the political space, while many others are rising to the top of the academic ladder.

For a long time, he observed, Africa didn’t have many women in the political space, and there were very limited number of young girls in school. “Now to the contrary, over the last 10 years, we have seen some notable improvements. If you look through what is going on in other countries, like parliament, that has more than 50 percent of women representation, which is a good signal,” Ntelamno said, earlier this week.

He praised the continent for the increase in school enrolments in most countries, with the trend where more young girls were going to school and even completing their primary, secondary and tertiary education.

The official however urged African countries to work harder, to end the high level of gender-based violence on the continent, and educating both young boys and girls on reproductive health issues, as a safeguard against unwanted pregnancies, as well as, sexually transmitted diseases.

“Around the issues of gender-based violence, this is where we need to find some real strength. We need to battle and make sure that our women are not subjected to sexual and gender-based violence. The IPPF has been holding training workshops for journalists in Ghana, on the way to bring out issues of gender and sex related violence.