I live and work in Accra, Ghana as a professional events manager. In my line of work, my main responsibilities lie with planning and overseeing all aspects of an event from the conception stages to completion. I handle all types of events from corporate events to social events. It’s a highly pressured job that requires me to be meticulous, calm and a troubleshooter at any one time but the reward is seeing the even executed flawlessly.
I call myself a feminist because of my strong beliefs in women’s empowerment and development. I don’t subscribe to the misguided definition of a feminist as a bra burning, male hating angry woman. I believe in equality for all genders based on the basic principle that we are humans and entitled to fair opportunities.
Feminists in Africa today are faced with the institutional and social/cultural structures that have long been in place to favour men. Although we are seeing shifts as a result of constant education and sensitization of people to women’s value in society and the necessity to give them equal opportunities, we still have a long way to go to shed inherent societal beliefs. Unfortunately, us African women are also our greatest stumbling blocks in most situations in maintaining inequalities and our silence in the face of women’s oppression and violence. To shift this positively for women, we need education at all levels that extend beyond women who identify as feminists, to men, to children and to leaders. We need to infiltrate spaces so that our vision becomes real.
In my own life, I I have a 6 year old daughter and I try to teach her everyday that being a girl shouldn’t stop her from doing anything she wants to do in life. I am fortunate because I come from a line of strong Ghanaian women who have never let ‘being a woman’ stop them from doing anything. I have seen feminism in action all my life and so it comes naturally to me to practice my beliefs both at work and in my private life. It is harder in my professional life to fight stereotypes but I have found that breaking down situations and explaining implications to people often gets them to appreciate what I am advocating for.
I am inspired by many things! Notably, prominent women who continue to fight for our rights and promote empowerment. Secondly, the visible changes in African women’s lives today and the continued fire, commitment and desire for African women to stand up for themselves, to speak for themselves and define solutions for themselves.
Most importantly I’m inspired by my family, my mother who proves to me that I can reach greater heights if I so desire, my daughter who challenges me to be a responsible feminist and my faith which makes it all possible.