“Not enough movement is being made by the 52% of the Ghanaian population that are women to be able to be in the position to make the decisions.”– President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo
The above statement is receiving a lot of backlash from feminists across the world of which I am one. Feminism is a range of social movements, political movements, and ideologies that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve the political, economic, personal, and social equality of the sexes, defined by Wikipedia. With the definition being established, I applaud all gender activists for their stance in making way for women’s voices to be heard out loud. The Women Deliver Conference which is one of the many global conferences bringing together policy makers and global shapers must be commended for their effort in raising the bar of the feminism advocacy.
Factors to Consider
Culturally, a lot of women across the world face many challenges, both institutionally structured and biologically, for which reasons they are not able to play on level fields in the strive for gender equity. Other reasons, I believe, include women’s need for attention and love which sometimes get in their way of achieving great accomplishments for themselves without any interference from other parties. John Gray in his book stated, “When a man can listen to a woman’s feelings without getting angry and frustrated, he gives her a wonderful gift. He makes it safe for her to express herself. The more she is able to express herself, the more she feels heard and understood, and the more she is able to give a man the loving trust, acceptance, appreciation, admiration, approval, and encouragement that he needs“. This is found in his book, Men Are From Mars, Women Are from Venus which speaks extensively on the differences between men and women’s interactions as being a natural cycle, where women’s behavior are uniquely different from men, in most regards.
Matters on the Ground
I believe what His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo said was a point of reality where some women shirk the responsibility of leadership based on the dangers and tasks involved and would rather delve into a much comfortable space, of which politics is mostly not an option.
Fewer bolder women have however bridged the gap in politics, and yet the question lies in the majority of others who would rather stay home and play comfortable because politics seem to be a really a tough sector to venture into.
Highlights on key challenges
As Chimamanda Ngozi Adochie, a known feminist, put it in her recent speech in Yale University 318th Commencement Speech, ” I worry that spaces occupied by the educated in this country are places where curiosity has become passé. It is now an environment where everyone is supposed to know, supposed to get it. And those who don’t are seen as morally lacking“. My dear ladies, or should I say feminists, it is okay to be curious to learn and not assume anything in the name of advocacy. The real facts still remain. Knowledge is key. Sometimes taking a step back to delve deeper into what women go through at such top levels can go a long way to address some of the challenges that women face each passing day. Big ups to Natasha Wang Mwansa from Zambia who really touched on some of those challenges such as quality education, equal pay, equal opportunities, unhygienic sanitary conditions of females in their menstrual cycle, girl child marriage, and so on.
The Way Forward
Feminism is key. Our voices need to be heard. But outside the raining of voices, can we call a spade a spade and rally our hands together to push each other to do the work? Yes, we need equity, yes there are dynamic women out there. The question however still remains, how dynamic and independent are we, especially in the area of politics of which the president was addressing in his capacity as a politician. Greetings to all the amazing female politicians out there bearing the heat and brunt of women in politics. This may be the hard truth but let’s ponder on it a bit and go back to the drawing board.
Let me just add that women leaders are the most attractive and most of them are in Ghana. The likes of, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, Charlotte Osei, Akosua Frema Osei Opare, Lucy Quist, Sophia Akuffo, Cynthia Morrison, Patricia Obo-Nai, among other audacious women, are inspiring role models to look up to and that is what the gender equity drive seeks to achieve. By and large, some great strides are being made in the empowerment of women and girls for which we are thankful to our pioneers for.