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Gender equity has been gaining considerable ground over the past decade due to the advocacy of gender activists who seek to tip the scale of gender imbalance and end the subjugation of women as an inferior gender.
Despite the efforts of these activists and advocates, the advancement of the cause of women empowerment and gender equity continues to flow at a slow ebb particularly due to the lack of support from policy makers, law makers and corporate players.
In furtherance of its mission to spark a change in the status quo, the OBAASIMA Foundation has since its inception in 2019 been urged on by the uninhibited desire to train, nurture, mentor and empower young women to overcome socio-cultural, political and economic challenges which they are faced with.
The foundation’s activities for the year which included their famed campus tours and market storms was climaxed as always with the biggest annual female gathering, the OBAASIMA summit, at the National Theatre on Friday June 9.
The event took the agenda to even greater heights as various speakers from the political and corporate world took turns to speak to the attendees on the future of gender equity under the theme; The Future Can Be Different.
These Speakers included; Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Hon Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Member of Parliament for the North Tongu Constituency, Hon Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Member of Parliament for the Klottey-Korley Constituency, Hon Dr. Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, Director General of the National Lottery Authority, Sammy Awuku, CEO of the Ghana Library Authority, Hayford Siaw, Deputy National Women’s Organizer of the NDC, Dzifa Tegah, Head of Public Affairs at The Parliament of Ghana, Kate Addo, Joy News editor, Araba Koomson, Journalist of the year Portia Gabor, Asaase Radio’s Naa Ashorkor, Managing Partner of Mahogany Consult, Baaba Coffie, Vice President of Uniliver Nigeria, Yaw Nsarkoh, CEO of Brave Connect GH/Brave Pad Fund, Tracy Owusu Addo and CEO of 2927 Restaurant, Event Center and Pub, Judith Cato Addison.
At the event, Managing Partner of Mahogany Consult and Lecturer at the Wisconsin International University Baaba Coffie, recounted the impact her speech made during the maiden edition of the summit in 2019.
She touched extensively on the issue of fertility in Ghana and how Ghanaian laws and policies were silent on it. She described her longstanding issues with fertility and how it inspired her speech in the 2019 edition of the summit. This speech she says sparked a reaction from Former Deputy Transport Minister Honourable Joyce Bawa Mogtari, who was also a speaker at the event, to push for her inclusion in the presentation of a private members bill in Parliament led by Member of Parliament for the North Tongu Constituency, Honourable Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa which sought to regulate assisted conception in Ghana, a bill which is still before the House.
This is one of many success stories chalked by the OBAASIMA Summit as it has not just walked the talk of gender equity and advocacy but has lived up to its mission of social Justice through public policy, influencing national policy and bills on the advancement of women’s rights.
The Summit through its carefully curated guest list and itinerary has influenced many decisions at national and corporate level including the enactment of policies that seek to give laxity to women in their respective workplaces.
Speaking to close the event, Ama Pratt, Ex. Director of the foundation and General Manager of Pan African Tv, announced that the OBAASIMA Foundation is piloting the OBAASIMA Academy, a movement that seeks to tap into the vast pool of female students in the various tertiary institutions with the aim of raising a generation of women who are confident, assertive, ready to be the next generation of aspirational inspirational women who will bring about the change that we all seek.