The Women’s wing of the National Democratic Congress, led by Hon. Dr. Hannah Louisa Bisiw, held an innovative digital seminar to celebrate this year’s international women’s day.
The seminar brought together women from different domains, across the globe, to discuss developments in gender equity. Speaker after speaker shared their experiences as women in different fields such as law, politics, science, technology and engineering.
Addressing participants on a zoom meeting, the 2020 running mate of the NDC Prof. Naana Jane Opoku Agyeman espoused the historic role of women in all spheres of life and that women “have not been flower pots”. However, even among women, there are differences. She said, “Women do not constitute a monolithic whole…the fact that not every woman is able to join a digital platform like this explains the complexity of embracing equity”. She further explained that the fundamental question underpinning gender equity discussions should be: “why has it become so hard for women to do what men do”. She encouraged all women who are privileged to sit around the decision table to remember they are there for those who do not have the opportunities to be there. That is how gender equality issues can be addressed at the top level.
Speaking to the theme for the celebration, an adjunct lecturer at the Ghana Institute of management and Public Administration who specialises in research into digitalisation and digital transformations in Developing countries, Dr. Mansah Preko, explained the unintended consequences of technologies in rather widening gender inequalities instead of being a tool for enabling gender equality in our part of the world. She said, “Digital solutions are mostly designed for a ‘default male-centric’ user without considering the unique challenges of female users”.
Dr Mansah Preko further outlined a number of directions for resolving this challenge such as deliberately increasing investment in STEM education for girls, equipping women with specific technological competencies and creating awareness of the possibility of women being in the IT profession using herself as a typical example.
On the other hand, the CEO of BOHA Engineering limited and co-founder of Tech Femme, an NGO organization focused on mentoring girls in the STEM field, Ms Linda Assibi Awuni, presented practical insights into using innovations and technologies for gender equality. Using her firm as an example, she explained how female led technology companies may prioritise the recruitment and mentoring of female employees to attract more women into the field.
In addition, Ms Benedicta Koryo Lassie, Secretary General to the Socialist International encouraged women to hold each other’s hand since the struggle for equality will not come on a silver platter. She explained that the world is designed to put certain people ahead of women and socio-cultural and political factors naturally militate against the development of women, particularly in developing countries and in Ghana.
Other MPs who presented and shared their experiences at the seminar included Hon. Dr. Agnes Naa Momo lartey, MP for Krowor, Hon. Joycelyn Tetteh, MP for North Dayi.
The programme was put together by the Women’s wing led by Hon. Dr Bisiw amd her deputies, Abigail Elorm Mensah and Dzifah Tegah. Participants through their contributions demonstrated their excitement and suggested such regular interactions to build their capacity.