To learn we must listen and for there to be meaningful change, it must come from the ground up. These principles have been applied by Mohandas K. Ghandi, Martin Luther King and other change makers of the world.
We asked women the Woman is the Key question: In your life what have you noticed, that you can communicate as a purpose and give direction to better women’s future? By so doing, you can help touch the world.
Today, we have Ghanaian voices answering. Tomorrow, the voices will come from all over the world.
Mavis Quarcoo: “I would say, as a woman, never be put down by anything that comes your way. Patience, forthrightness and steadfastness counts in everything you do.
As a single parent who is self employed, many challenges have come my way. I am of the view however, that by keeping focused on the ultimate goal, there is nothing that stops me. I listen to advice from various people I meet and I take, not the easy way out, but the advice that makes the most sense. Sometimes its a combination of what I learnt myself and what others have to say.
Keep a sense of humour, laugh at yourself and don’t let life dictate the pace; you do the dictation. Life is short, so try to have fun and enjoy your womanhood.”
Gina Palmer King: “I know that as a woman I must first learn to appreciate myself. I must know who I really am and work hard to be not what I am today, but what I would wish to become someday.
All hands are not the same, but we all hope to be successful and be able to support our family and contribute to society.
For me growing up, I had a lot of challenges, but I looked at those challenges and desired to overcome them.
I have a dream, a vision and I’m working on it. I believe that whatever you believe in, once you work at it, it would come true.
I believe in God and I have faith in Him.
As I was growing up as a child, it was only one thing that opened my mind, and that was books. I read a lot! Anything I got my hands on I read, just to know what was happening.
I also never stopped praying for wisdom. As a woman there are so many things that come our way, but learning to fight through them and coming out better, is what makes all the difference. We must above all desire to be virtuous, for a virtuous woman is priceless. (Proverbs 31: 10-31)
We should also tell our stories and know more about others.
Pray hard, Read hard and Work hard.”
Gloria Addison: “Based on my own personal experience, I realized that life is a gift and talent is a blessing. I try as much as possible never to waste either.
It is my opinion therefore, we as women should try to be enthusiastic and endeavor to acquire the skills needed to advance. It is better to have excellent interpersonal skills and treat everyone with respect and dignity. We should also endeavour to have good communication skills and this will lead us to be able to handle our present circumstances, with confidence and face the future without fear.
No matter the circumstances, you find yourself, stay determined, focused and don’t let anyone take away your goals and dreams.
With determination success is achievable.”
Janet Kissi: “It is a great honour and priviledge to be a woman but because we are fragile, the little things that happen to us bring our morale down.
I went through hard times when things went rough with my Dad. But I stood firm because I was the first child of the family. I never gave up, but was roaming in search of a job and I finally got one. Though it was a difficult one and the salary low, I managed to save and spend within my means.
In life we all need to learn how to save because it creates a great path for us.
Also if you are in a relationship and your partner turns you down, you don’t have to lose hope or say that is the end of the world. A woman needs to be industrious and be independent so that it can send a signal to her partner or husband that she is unique and that she can get to the top without him.
Above all this, you have to put God first in your endeavour and He will help you climb the ladder of success.”
Portia Asare: “Women ought to love themselves so they can love people. This means you should love yourself, by taking good care of your body, health, and emotions. When you are healthy both inside and out, you can channel positive love to other people be it your children, husband, or the general public.
Women should not depend on men to take care of them; we can do something for ourselves.”
Hawa Adam: “I am young but with what I am doing now for myself and my family, I believe I can still do more in the future. This is made possible by my broad knowledge level, which is as a result of my education. Therefore, what we women can do is to have a vision to work in educating ourselves, and know our mission as women.
Our mission: we have to wake up and change the global mentality about women, so that we can do better.
This will help move our lives and our different countries forward.”
Alberta Agyeiwaa Birikorang: “What I have detected is that some woman come across as being feeble and unfortunately because of that, some men take advantage of them. I believe if all women will be a Proverbs 31 woman and not a Victoria Secret lady the world will be a better place to stay. There will be no following people’s husbands, selling our bodies to men for money and so on.
Ladies, we are God’s image, so let’s know our purpose in this world and our children will learn from us.”
Theresa Dolley: ‘motto: Nothing is impossible.’
“I have a few bullet points to share:
1. Try as much as possible to believe in yourself.
2. Never depend on anyone to move you forward.
3. Strive hard to accomplish something remarkable in life.
4. Find and develop your talent or something of interest to you as a woman.
5. Always back the above mentioned points with positivity and prayer.”
Nana Adjoa Asiamah: “I am very young but what I have detected in life is the ‘can do’ spirit. I don’t give up in life. I am not afraid to take risks. If I need help, I don’t wait for help but I start with what I can do and by so doing help comes to look for me.
Believe in yourself, and never imitate others. Just be you!
Brighten any corner you are, and appreciate whatever life gives you. Be ready to learn, accept your mistakes and whatever you are good at, do it best.”
Queenstar Ocansey: “I haven’t lived that many years but I have had my share of experiences which someone might find helpful. I am “unstoppable,” that is one pattern I have discovered. I strongly believe in persevering, taking opportunities and creating opportunities.
Education creates an avenue for women to rise, but society still creates the ceiling which blocks them. However, to solve that problem women have to advocate for societal change. With that said, society may still limit a person but that limitation can equally be rejected through a learned counter behavior. Take for instance; the Chipko Movement.
Disinformation is a powerful tool and was used as a weapon years ago in Germany during the Second World War. However, women of today have a world of information to upgrade themselves, if they choose to invest the same amount of time they spend in taking ‘selfies’ and uploading them on social media. If the number of ‘likes’ a lady receives for a raunchy photo would become a pool of wealth, that might be a good investment of time. Simply put, a lot of young ladies today invest their time in unproductive things. They are often satisfied with mediocrity and generally pursue every other thing but knowledge, which will develop them into women of substance.
I may be alone in this observation, but I have noticed a redefinition of woman in today’s women. Social media has been used and abused, and has had a rather backward effect on the majority of the youth. There is something missing in some of the ladies of today, intellectual discussions are not interesting, but rather raunchy photos are preferred. Not a day passes without being forced to see the raunchiest pictures of women on your Facebook page because someone on your friend list decided to hit “like” and you automatically get a notification. As if our faces and names are not enough IDs, ladies have taken a new fashion of creating flowerbeds and the galaxy on their bodies.
The value a woman places on herself is the value she would receive. I sought great mentors such as Dambisa Moyo through my development process, so good role models and having higher aspirations in life is important. I strongly believe “Woman is the Key” but the woman of today needs to work on herself before becoming a key to any door.”
Sylvia Krishnan: “I have detected in this Ghanaian life that I have lived for more than half a century, our women are too docile and bear their misery, misfortunes and calamities in silence. Their refuge is the church thus giving so-called ‘men of God’ much power over them. I am not saying that church is bad but there should be other avenues for us to get our voices heard and be listened to. I have decided that I shall make that happen in my own way. Soon and very soon.”
Stella-Mary Nkrumah: “Women should not always see themselves as the ‘fair sex’ because we are terrific. We should live and stand for our ideals. We should believe in ourselves.”
Constance Banquet: “In life, my Mum taught me that when you want to accomplish tasks, you must make a habit of being prepared to go it alone. There are times when you might not have the motivation and inspiration from those surrounding you to accomplish your dreams. You will need to be tough, spiritually and mentally or you won’t get anywhere. You must be prepared to take risks and not set out to fail, but to prosper. If you have the correct mentality then there is nothing that can stand in your way.
Although this seems very cliché, you must understand that all women have the drive to accomplish their dreams, but it is us who have to strive to unleash this. It is easy to say life as a woman is tough in a world ‘run by men’, but we mustn’t forget the women who also helped shape our world today. Without women so determined to change the world, our world would probably be a completely different place today. We mustn’t let excuses such as that, prevent us from doing what we want in life.
We have so many more opportunities in life, than some in other parts of the world and we mustn’t let these be wasted. I believe if women around the world had opportunities like we do, there wouldn’t be anything to stand in our way in evolving the world into a more ‘female friendly’ one.”
Doris Minikon: “In my life, one thing I can say I have detected, that can be communicated as a vision and give direction to better women’s future, is to know oneself totally. We will all have areas to grow in as long as we live. So the areas of our lives that are not so good, we have the opportunity to change or get rid off, but the good areas, we can enhance and build on.
‘That’s my two cents'”
Cecilia Dei-Anang: “I have learnt to check my intentions before responding with a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No.’ A ‘Yes,’ though a positive, can sometimes be the cruelest response one can give to a dependent; and a ‘No,’ the kindest position to take.
Thinking about the impact of our thoughts, is critical to the energy we impart, and its impact on the world.”
Lankai Quarcoopome: “Now, I personally think that very few women go for what they want in life and it’s such a shame that opportunities and chances are not followed through. So my advice to both the older and newer generation is that, life is just too precious to waste and that it’s good to dream but a Dream will always stay a dream, if you don’t do anything about it.
Susan Efua Sackey: “In answer to your question, let me briefly say:
a) Have a God-fearing posture.
b) Have Faith.
The God factor, and the faith factor help us to be strong even when your own strength, fate, chance, time and life are not in our favor.
After I had a nice long chat with my mother, we both firmly believe that family values and what we are exposed to shape our mindset and belief system. These values are critical to making headway in life.
Ama Larbie-Africa: “Practically what I have perceived in life as a woman, is foremost the diminutive life experience I have encountered. Most women across the world, on several occasions have been demeaned of their competences, poise and worst of all their value. This has left them with inferiority thinking and not concentrating on their very best. This can lead to some women living life out of the past experience and this affects the hope of the future.
Although quite a number of women have succeeded in fitting into the male dominant society, there is still room for improvement.
To my fellow women out there, we can make it as far as we do away with the negativity spirit: uncertainty feelings and valueless tags that crawl up our minds. Otherwise, we become our own reason for idling while the men are busy involving themselves in various initiatives.
We must also do away with the mindset of: ‘I am competing with this or that person’. Without doubt as humans we need improvement, but must we always give in to the idea of competing with whomsoever we see as threats?
In reality, competing with a working colleague or friend be it female or male, curbs our unique way of thinking as women and performing our responsibilities as equal humans. It always puts us in an unyielding position leaving us to live a life that is not womanly.
See nobody as a competitor and blame nobody for a misfortune.
I have observed something else. Instead of emphasizing on improving our individual skills, since we are all gifted with unique endowments, we rather prefer to give consent to others to exploit us.
As Women, we need to be motivated by what we see and hear in the environment we dwell and not be manipulated by them. The need to respect ourselves and people around us, should be a priority to enable us earn the necessary respect due us. There is no room for timidity.
Let us depict our worth heartily to the world that indeed Woman Is The Key!
Dinah Ditas-Sarpey: “In my own life I have detected that when a woman is highly educated, some of the men in Ghana are afraid to ask for her hand in marriage.
Many reasons have given rise to that situation.
Among them are:
1. The man would not be able to cheat on her at will because she is knowledgeable and on top of some of those lies they advance.
2. She also contributes immensely to the running of the family and the decision making process. Some of the men instead of being grateful become envious.
3. Knowing her rights, it becomes difficult for some of the men to take her for granted. Still some others feel inferior before their wives. They react negatively at times by trying to abuse them physically, instead glorifying themselves with their wives’ status in the society.
4. Sometimes too, some of the men’s friends tease him for being relegated to the background.
Men I suggest, should be sensitized, made aware, or educated to realise that without women they would not be able to survive. Women are also human beings with blood flowing in their veins, have feelings, just like men! It is our physique and physiology that differs, so if they want the best from us, we should be handled with care like eggs.
I believe well-educated women, have the self-confidence and the ability to withstand social pressures to marry just ‘anybody’. When women qualify professionally and are financially independent, it is easier for them to understand that marriage is not the end of the world. It is the beginning of a relationship of love and mutual respect between two individuals. This would go a long way to affect the change we expect.”
Christina Gwira: “In my opinion, women need to be strong and stand their ground for what they want in this life. If not, then society, family and outside forces will force you and mold you and your life into what they want. What they want, isn’t always what you had in mind or planned for yourself. If you want to be a doctor, be a doctor! Do not let what your father told you, or your aunty said deter you from that path. It is your life that you must live, not their’s. It is you who will hate what you have allowed yourself to become, not them.
As a women, it is necessary that you stand and stand strong for your beliefs, your wants and desires.
Susan Adu-Aryee: “Every woman should have a vision like every winning business. She should set goals and tell herself she can overcome any barrier provided she is focused on doing that.
A few failures and challenges are necessary evils that can help a woman learn better and adapt a persevering attitude.
It is necessary for any woman to consider herself as a significant contributor to society, no matter where she finds herself on the social ladder. She must just do things right.
Finally, she should give her work whether at home or in an office, a human touch. This is the key to touch the heart of her beneficiaries, who may be either children, spouse, workmates, project population, or clients.”
So, woman is the key to whatever she sets her mind to be.