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THE 4TH NATIONAL WOMEN’S SUMMIT COMES OFF

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NATIONAL WOMEN’S SUMMIT : According to G.D. Anderson, ‘Feminism is not about making women strong. Women are already strong. It is about changing the way the world perceives that strength’. Imagine a world where gender inequality is a thing of the past. A world free of bias and stereotypes, where being a female does not mean working twice as much. Marked annually, International Women’s Day is a day set aside to celebrate women’s achievements and raise awareness about women’s equality.    

It is with this in mind that, the NATIONAL WOMEN’S SUMMIT comes off every 8th March for 3 consecutive years in celebration of International Women’s Day. In its 4th edition, this year’s event comes off at the Grand Arena, Accra International Conference Centre from 9am.

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NATIONAL WOMEN’S SUMMIT – Theme

The Summit will be held under the joint themes: #BREAK THE BIAS….and YOU DESERVE A LIFE OF GOODNESS. The Global theme of #BREAK THE BIAS is a clarion call to society at large to break biases and stop gender stereotyping women. The sub-theme YOU DESERVE A LIFE OF GOODNESS is a call for women to aspire for a Life of Goodness in their daily pursuits, by paying attention to their wellbeing because they need to be well in body, mind and spirit to be able to fully take a seat at the table.

Interesting panel discussions on #BREAK THE BIAS will be held by an eclectic mix of females across generations and professions, who will discuss what Bias is, share their personal experiences of Bias, how they rose above that to achieve their personal dreams and successes and most importantly, how we can all together as a society and as individuals make a conscious effort to break the biases against females.

The second session will be a Wellness session titled YOU DESERVE A LIFE OF GOODNESS, presented by FRYTOL and other Wellness Professionals which will feature discussions on healthy eating, physical and mental health and how all these lead to Living a life of Goodness.

The 4th NATIONAL WOMEN’S Summit will be aired live on JOY FM from 10am – 12noon, and on Facebook @ FRYTOLGHANA, Youtube @ CHARTERHOUSE LIVE

And is sponsored by FRYTOL, supported by SHE LEADS and produced by CHARTERHOUSE in collaboration with JOY FM.

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CHARTERHOUSE IN PARTNERSHIP WITH FRYTOL HOSTS THE 4TH NATIONAL WOMEN’S SUMMIT

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To commensurate the world’s annual celebration and honoring women dubbed International Women’s Day, leading event’s company, Charterhouse in partnership with Frytol has successfully hosted the 4th edition of its annual National Women’s Summit. The summit was held on 8th March at the Grand Arena inside the Accra International Conference Center.

Theresa Ayoade, convener of the summit and CEO of Charterhouse, Theresa Ayoade as part of her opening speech “I believe each year we make more progress towards gender parity. This year’s theme is so apt right now because it challenges each of us here to be intentional about breaking biases towards women. Right from the homes and how we socialize our male and female children. What are the things we say to them and how do our culturally and socially accepted gender roles continue to perpertuate these biases against our gender? I have been guilty of gender bias and I was called out by my daughter. Then I realised that I was unconsciously exhibiting biases out of probably my upbringing. How do we sow seeds now so there’s a pipeline for the next Women Leaders? This is what the NATIONAL WOMEN’S SUMMIT is about”

The keynote speaker was in the person of Mrs. Abiola Bawuah. She is the Regional CEO, West Africa, overseeing the group’s business in nine countries. She joined UBA Ghana in 2013 as Deputy Managing Director and was elevated to serve as the MD/CEO of UBA Ghana in 2014. She was appointed in 2018 as Regional CEO West Africa One, responsible for 6 countries. She touched on the constant need to give the girl child a chance to do and be more.

As part of the summit, panel discussions were held on two themes namely; BREAK THE BIAS and YOU DESERVE A LIFE OF GOODNESS and these featured some of the most experienced business leaders in Ghana who were invited to also share their stories and expertise. The panelists for the Break the bias session included, Dr. Mabel Banson, first female Neurosurgeon in Ghana. Theresa Yamson, CEO- Riker (GIHOC) Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Anna Nabere – Manager SHE LEADS project by Plan International and finally students from Accra Girls Senior High school namely, Marie Lyse Quansah and Nafisa Mohammed.

4TH NATIONAL WOMEN’S SUMMIT
4TH NATIONAL WOMEN’S SUMMIT

In her speech, Patience Ofori Mpereh, Marketing Director – Wilmar Africa, said “Every woman has a desire to manage and balance everything; family, profession, Raising children and others; and to live her life to the fullest- this I believe most of us here can relate. As we juggle all activities as wives, single women, mothers, or professionals, we ought to remember that our mental, physical and financial framework among many others need to be sound”. She ended her speech by unveiling the brand ambassador for Frytol. “She is a woman who resonates with our target audience: a professional woman with years of experience in the media, a radio anchor, one of Ghana’s finest actors, a wife & a mother of two and a fitness advocate, who strives to balance it all as a woman.  Therefore, on this journey of Goodness, we are happy to announce for the very first time, the Frytol Brand ambassador Nisirine Ashorkor Doku- popularly known as Naa Ashorkor”

Speaking on the ‘You deserve a life of goodness’ panel featured distinguished Ghanaian business leaders; Ewuraba Ekua Adusei – Currently the Marketing manager of Wilmar Africa Limited with over 10 years’ experience in the FMCG. Akosua Amponsah Baffour Asiedu-Jones – CEO and general manager of Distribution & Co Limited (“DnC”), a full service distributor of FMCGs. Quiana Canfor-Dumas, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and Master of Science degree in Operational Management. Mrs. Helena Adu-Gyamfi – Managing partner of Perfect Personal Care and last but not least, Renee Opare-Otoo, a registered and licensed dietitian with over five years’ experience and consults as a nutritionist for the Ghana Football Association (the first ever appointed) and also offers in-person and virtual nutrition consultations for some clinics. 

Panel discussions were moderated by Edem Knight-Tay, programs manager, Joy Fm and newly unveiled brand ambassador, Naa Ashokor. The event was also coupled with an exceptional performance from songstress Cina Soul.

The 4th National Women’s Summit is sponsored by FRYTOL, supported by SHE LEADS by PLAN INTERNATIONAL, and produced by CHARTERHOUSE in collaboration with JOY FM.

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PLAN INTERNATIONAL LAUNCHES ‘SHE LEADS’ MEDIA CAMPAIGN

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She Leads…In a world where being a female means working extra hard to ‘catch up’ to what many call ‘a man’s world’, it is imperative that all avenues be used to remind society of the proverb ‘if you educate a man you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a nation.

It is with this background that Plan International launches a media campaign dubbed ‘SHE LEADS’.

The campaign was launched on International Women’s Day (IWD), which is celebrated on 8th of March each year. The celebration is to recognize women’s social, economic, and political achievements. It also highlights the importance of creating conditions favorable to women for their full and equal participation in social development.

Presenting the general overview of the project, Anna Nabere, Program Manager of the Campaign, stated that the strategic objective of the project is to increase sustained influence of girls and young women (GYW) on decision-making and the transformation of gender norms in formal and informal institutions. She added that, the long-term aim (impact) of She Leads is that GYW’s perspectives are included in gender responsive laws and policies and societal norms and practices.

In her presentation, she delved into the geographic focus of the campaign. “East Africa (Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya), West Africa (Ghana, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia) and the Middle East (Lebanon, Jordan). Regional level programs, targeting regional institutions and others. In Ghana, specifically Ashanti Region, North East Region, Central Region, Western North region, Upper West Region and Greater Accra Region.

The keynote speaker of the event, Sheila Minkah-Premo Esq. – Women’s Rights Activist And Convenor Of The Affirmative Action Bill Coalition, in her presentation on “Bias Towards Women Leadership – Addressing The Challenge”. She reiterated that women are not given enough seats at the ‘high tables’ “Women’s Rights Activist and Convenor of the Affirmative Action Bill Coalition. Women have been marginalized in governance. The percentage of women in Parliament is a reflection of the imbalance. The percentage has ranged from 9.6% in 1960 to 8.7 in 2008 to the current Parliament of 2021 where we have 40 out of 275 making it 14.45%. We have had one female Speaker of Parliament since independence with the rest being male. We have never had a female President or vice president. Ministerial positions have always had more men than women. The Judiciary has more men in the Superior as well as Lower Courts than women and have had two female Chief Justices since independence”. 

She ended by calling on stakeholders to come on board to make this campaign a success and women to aspire to do and be more “As you launch the She Leads project today, I look forward to the opportunities it will create to enable young women aspire for leadership. Women are capable of achieving laurels in the public and private sectors. They need to be equipped and inspired to aspire for leadership. There is also the need to break the bias to make their push for leadership possible. This can be made possible by laws like the Affirmative Action (Gender Equality) Law, which will put in place programmes to ensure that there is a level playing field for both sexes”.

Songstress Adina Thembi was introduced and unveiled as the official brand ambassador for the She Leads Campaign.  She performed for the first time, the official jingle for the Campaign.

The official pledge for the campaign “I pledge to give a girl a chance because when she leads, we gain”

The She Leads Project is by Plan International Ghana in partnership with Defense for Children Ghana, Women Aspire Network and Gender Centre for Empowering Development, with funding support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.

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#OnTourWithAwedana : Rocks of Fear – Pikworo Slave Camp (Paga, Ghana)

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The sight and the overall experience of Pikworo Slave Camp take away all doubts about the veracity and reality of the slave trade in Africa. The presence of empirical evidence in the form of relics is enough to disabuse all doubting minds. Perhaps the cliché, “seeing is believing” should be the emphasis here. 

Pikworo Slave Camp is geographically situated approximately 3 KM West of Paga in the Upper East region of Ghana.  It’s located in a village called ‘Nania’. The camp is one of the few tourist sites in Africa with remarkable routes of historic relevance and is known in history as the hoarding, auctioning, and transmission point of slaves. It acted as a transit camp for the slave trade. Slaves were held hostage in the Pikworo slave camp before being transferred to Salaga in the Northern Region. In short, it acted as an intermediary between slave traders.

Legend has it that, the Pikworo Slave Camp was founded by a brave hunter and farmer. The village (Nania) was then developed into a trading center for the Hausa, Mossi, and Zambrama traders where their exchange activities took place.

The story of the slave trade sound is really gory sometimes. However, coming face to face with the facts of history gives a refreshing feeling of how far we have come as humans in our very existence. It’s sometimes incomprehensible and shocking how the purpose of a fully-fleshed human being could be altered and converted to the extent of being a slave. But the evidence available is more factual than fiction.

Centuries back, the slave trade was a very lucrative business activity and because of its dominant nature, it enriched slave masters and other people of higher ranks in the slave market. Nania became the first stopover and an auction market for slaves captured in surrounding lands as well as those brought from the Sahara. It was situated in a very rocky area hence the name ‘Pikworo’ which means ‘rocks of fear’. The rocky nature of the place largely defined the living conditions of the slaves in the camp. 

Life in the camp could best be described as rude and crude. Unlike the luxuries we enjoy today, slaves captured and sent to Nania had to be tied against trees and rocks to sleep. They ground cereals on rocks. They prepared food on rocks. They ate from holes created on rocks and drank from a nondrying opening in rocks.

They walked barefooted and experienced inhuman treatments as penalties for wrongdoing or non-compliance with directives. For instance, there was a site of the camp dedicated to punishing slaves where they were tied to a rock and made to watch the sun.
Dead slaves were buried in groups in a single hole dug around the camp and covered with a medium-sized rock placed on top of the grave as an epitaph to indicate the site as a burial ground for the dead. 

One interesting aspect about the stopover of slaves at Nania was that, despite the harsh conditions they faced, slaves had the chance of producing music with stones used to hit the rocks in a rhythmic manner, creating a pleasant sound with some of the slaves dancing to the tune. In all it won’t be wrong to say slaves in Pikworo slave camp lived “rocky” lives since almost every aspect of their lives was hinged on rocks.

Visiting the slave camp gives a lot of flashbacks and touching memories to behold-Memories that indicate the actual toil of our forefathers and some of the circumstances they faced and memories that give you insights towards making the world a better place. Until you visit the ‘Pikworo’ slave camp, you’ll always be tempted to liken the storylines of “12 years a slave” to “Tom and Jerry”.The former is a real-life issue and the latter is fiction. Don’t dwell in doubts for the rest of your life. Spare a moment, explore and reconnect with the past: it’s a priceless experience.
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Story by: Bobi Awedana Herty/thesavannaonline

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