Thursday, March 10, 2016

International Women's Day 2016

Madame Eunice directing the bead training at the Women with disabilities craft group
March 8th marks International Women’s Day, so here in Bolgatanga we decided we would make use of the occasion by organizing two events over two days including a training session with a craft group of women with disabilities, and a sensitization for the Bolgatanga girl’s secondary school [BOGISS]. The aim of the two days was to empower women and to educate both women and girls of the importance of International Women's Day and why it is essential to mark the day in order to keep working towards the global goal of gender equality.

Tom learning how to create a bracelet using beads
Madame Eunice and Comfort

Women With Disabilities - Bead Training 

The group expressed to us that they would like extra training in order to increase the success of their business and so we set up a day of bead training with Madame Eunice, who taught the group how to create earrings, necklaces and bracelets using beads. She also showed us the importance of keeping to patterns in order to make the products attractive and ultimately easy to sell. By doing the bead training it created a sociable atmosphere for everyone to come together. Kat, one of our UK volunteers, also explained to the group the importance of celebrating International Women's Day and that by learning new skills they are improving their business and empowering themselves to excel. 

'It was a fantastic experience for all involved. Development work can be frustrating: a lot of it is desk-based which means you can sometimes lose sight of why you're here. But the training delivered was the culmination of questionnaires, weeks of preparation and a healthy chunk of our budget and you could see just how much it meant to the group.' - Tom, Team Leader. 
Gifty, a local nurse, talking to the girls about sexual health

Seraphim, Ghanaian volunteer

Kat, UK volunteer

Sexual Health Talk with BOGISS

We also visited the girl's secondary school here in Bolgatanga with Gifty, a local nurse, explaining why International Women's Day is important and how understanding the different aspects of sexual health can empower women. Education is key: by fully understanding their sexual health these children will grow up to have a satisfying and safe sex life, with the ability to reproduce and the freedom to decide when and how often to do so.  

According to the charity Afrikids, the pressure to marry young and produce children is holding girls back in Ghana's upper east region, putting them at a greater risk. Half of all girls are married before the age of eighteen and one woman dies for every 125 babies born [source: afrikids.org/blog]. Through educating these girls about their rights, they will be able to take control over their bodies and futures. - Kat, UK Volunteer

Across the two days the event was a great success, and we feel we came together as a team to help spread awareness about gender equality and how we can encourage each other to stand up for our rights and make ourselves conscious of our boundaries. We are hoping that together we can all continue to work on ways to overcome our obstacles in order to achieve true parity.

#PledgeForParity                                                                                      #WomenFastForward 

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