I am a Ghanaian and work for the African Women’s Development Fund in Accra as a Programmes Officer-Anglophone Africa. In particular, I am in charge of all applications and reports from English speaking African countries. My role includes reporting, analysis of grant-making activities of AWDF, networking and building relationships with a wide range of partners in Africa region; site-visits, setting and monitoring targets for grant-making on a thematic and regional basis; and representing AWDF at relevant events. I also provide technical assistance to grantees and maintain interactions throughout the grant cycle.
I am a feminist, sure, but I take it for granted. I learnt through the example of my illiterate mother who was a hardworking entrepreneur and always supported young unemployed women with financial assistance and advice to engage in sustainable business ventures to support their households. By example, she taught me how to be strong and industrious as a woman in order to gain the confidence and respect of your community. Hopefully, I am teaching my two daughters the same lesson.
I am passionate about women’s rights issues especially issues around environment and livelihoods for African women. I think that the most pressing and urgent issue is increasing violence against women on the continent despite all international, regional and national instruments protecting the rights of women. Secondly increasing poverty levels among women has rendered most women vulnerable, is compounded by climate change and its attendant impact on livelihoods of women.
As feminists we are challenged because the resources to convene, strategize and deliberate are dwindling. We need to seriously look at alternative means of resource mobilization to sustain convening and the creation of safe spaces to engage on critical issues affecting women on the continent and finding lasting solutions. Secondly, we need to strengthen grassroots mobilization and movement building and integrate these into national and regional level movement building. Finally, we need to mentor and attract more young women into the movement and to sustain their interest in activism. We also need to popularise The Charter within the feminist circles and even beyond. Women’s organizations must also be provided with the needed capacity building to use the Charter more effectively to transform their organizations.
At the personal level, I have adopted some young girls at the high school level am mentoring in gender equality and feminist issues; this is to groom them and enhance their interest in feminist activism.
What inspires me most is the hard work of previous generations of feminists; the power of women to champion their own development and the need to fight for women’s basic rights to have a voice, to make our own choices, to be respected and safe in our society.