CULTURE FORUM IN SUPPORT OF WOMEN’S DEVELOPMENT
By: Eloise Fuss
Accra was alive with the sound of women employment when the Women, Culture and Development forum was held as part of the 2009 International Conference of African Culture and Development (ICACD).
Six women from across Africa and the South Pacific took to the stage with TV3 host, Nana Aba Anamoah, to discuss gender equality and explore the role women can play in development.
Amongst the panel was Dr. Desta Meghoo, a Development Consultant from Ethiopia, who said she was “completely honoured and humbled to be around some of African’s best minds” and experience “essential discussion on the place of women in Africa”.
“I think the most important point that everyone was in agreement with is that we (women) can determine who we are,” she said pointing out that women should appreciate the fact that their destinies are in their own hands, and they need to set their own values.
Dr. Maghoo said many forums are highly academic and theoretical, but ICACD made the evening “very attractive” and provided an “amazing opportunity to start the movement”.
“It is a rare and special thing to bring together a dynamic audience of activists, academics and artists from everywhere across the continent and the Diaspora” she said.
Ghanaian actress and media personality, Dzifa Gomashie, who attended the forum, expressed particular interest in the depiction of women in the media, a medium that she wants to see change to factor in diversifying of a woman’s place in society.
“We need to have more women in the media doing things rather than nurturing, cooking, cleaning and serving men. There are many other things women are doing today which need to be acknowledged and celebrated.”
ICACD Chairman, Mr. Samuel Kojo Appiah- Kubi, said the forum lived up to their vision and he was ‘very happy’ with the content of the discussion.
He said the main ICACD Conference featured many male speakers, and they wanted to provide a platform where women could also speak, and the men could “sit down and be quiet.”
“I am happy the women have been given a voice tonight. The answers and the contributions they gave are good things that need to be considered in our development agenda”
Some of the audience said they felt women were being left out the ‘development conversation’. They said there need to be more discussions on the role of women in social, economic, political and environmental development.
Daily Graphic Page: 11 Saturday, November 28, 2009.