International Women’s Day is not about competing with men – Mawuena Adzo Trebarh (Mrs)

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The Celebration of International Women’s Day is not about a competition between men and women, Mrs Mawuena Adzo Trebarh, Chief Executive Officer of Inspire Africa Consult has said.

“International Women’s Day (IWD) is not a competition between men and women. God made everybody’s path unique and different. If you want to copy, you are wasting your time because that person’s path would not be like yours.

IWN should not be a one-day event. It should be an everyday event, something we can continue to talk about, improve ourselves and be able to apply our unique experiences to see the true growth and development of gender. It is a day to demonstrate the desire of women to collaborate with men. If we do not work together, we cannot get the speed of growth that we want.”

Mrs Trebarh was speaking at the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG)’s International Women’s Day Dialogue in Accra, dubbed: ‘Invest in women: Accelerate growth.”

According to Mrs Trebarh, it was only strong men who lent support to women adding, “there was no perfect woman, only the one who strives to be better than the way she was the day before.”

Mrs Trebarh advised women to use the occasion to showcase talents and gifts to serve as mentorship for young girls and women in general. She said the IWD should not be used to highlight challenges of women but rather it should be used for project women’s achievements in their respective endeavours.

The Geologist called for national conversation on the impact of social media and continuous regulation of the media space. She noted that young men were using social media to destroy themselves and said there was the need to regulate it by setting out boundaries for them.

Mr Emmanuel Okanta Akoto, Director of Programmes and Service Delivery, PPAG, said the theme of the occasion served as a clarion call on all to recongnise that women empowerment was not merely imperative but “a strategic necessity.”

“Let us explore why investing in women is a catalyst for societal progress and organizational success. When women are empowered, economies flourish, businesses thrive, and communities prosper.”

According to Mr Akoto, investing in women was not a zero-sum game, adding it was a multiplier effect that rippled through societies, foster resilience, creativity, and sustainable growth.

He called on all to dedicate themselves to fostering environments that did not only recognise the potential of women but actively invested in their development, education and progressional growth.

“Let us break down the barriers that hinder progress and embrace a future where every woman has the opportunity to contribute to her full potential.”

Madam Martha Coffie, Chairperson on Gender, Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations, said that it was important to overcome stereotyping and break biases to get to the top.

She said society needed to focus on the psychological empowerment of women for them to “process the seeds placed in their heads.”

According to Madam Coffie, young girls and women should not give up in their bid to achieve their dreams.

Naa Amerley Croffie, a legal practitioner, said investment in women changed how society worked adding, “we owe it to every generation that comes after us to invest in them.” She said in empowering women, it was important for their visions to be expanded.

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Meanwhile, the Maltaaba Peasant Women Farmers’ Co-operative in the Upper East Region has called on traditional rulers and stakeholders to find a better alternative to the extravagant spending on funerals.

From buying expensive caskets and sewing new clothes to slaughtering animals and organising massive feasts, these are the adopted characteristics of funerals in the Upper East Region, especially within the frafra-speaking population.

The manner in which various funeral rites are performed in the Upper East Region, especially in the BBonaboto catchment area, is said to be causing poverty, and also breeding unnecessary competition among women.

The financial and social resources invested in funerals are being described as unnecessary. 

When the Maltaaba Peasant Women Farmers’ Co-operative converged at Yameriga in the Talensi District, they observed that women often stretch themselves a lot to impress their families during funerals. 

Board Chairperson of the group, Ms Mollydeen Buntuuya, stated that the practice whereby daughters send large sums of foodstuffs such as rice, frytol oil, soap, mackerel, and pork when funerals are performed in their father’s house is not part of the rites. 

This, Mollydeen believes, is putting pressure on women to impress their families and making them poorer.

Mollydeen Buntuuya – Board chairperson.

The Director of Maltaaba Peasant Women Farmers’ Co-operative, Ms Lydia Miyella, mentioned that the organisation, over the years, has implemented several interventions aimed at empowering women economically and socially. 

Ms Miyella was not happy that climate change is hitting hard on rural folks, especially vulnerable women and children.  

Ms Lydia Miyella also used the occasion to remind political parties that the Maltaaba Peasant Women Farmers’ Co-operative would be looking out for policies and programmes that would benefit women in society.  

The women also appreciated the support of STAR GHANA Foundation for assisting them to access productive farmlands in the past years. 

They appealed to government to come out with agriculture policies and interventions that will give equal opportunities to smallholder rural women farmers, to benefit from credit facilities from financial institutions to help expand their businesses. 

According to them, Ghana cannot achieve the Sustainable Development Goals when women are discriminated against and stereotyped. 

Therefore, the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day, “Investing in Women: Accelerate Progress,” serves as a wake-up call for all stakeholders, including state and non-state actors, to act now.