Story By: Abdul Jalil Mahamud || Sanatu Zambang
Supervised by: Rahamatu-Lahi Zakaria || Sanatu Zambang
Savannah Women Integrated Development Agency marked International Women’s Day with student leaders in Tamale on Tuesday 8th March 2022 at Tamale Technical University (TaTU) Auditorium.
The event on the theme ‘’BREAKING THE BIAS: Speaking out Towards a Gender Equal World Today for a sustainable Tomorrow” was in collaboration with the office of TATU Women’s Commissioner. In attendance of the event included 200 young female leaders across tertiary institutions, associations in the Northern region, SHS students, the Song-Ba Empowerment Centre as well as members from youth led-organisations that SWIDA-GH works closely with.
Speakers at the event included the former Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Sagnarigu, Hajia Mariam Iddrisu, the former Regional Director for the Dept. of Gender, Mr Zakari and the Regional Girls Education Officer, Madam Linda Amoah. The speakers in their speech highlighted everyday stories that resonate with the theme and why we need to collectively tackle these issues that do not promote the growth of women or endanger their lives.
Speaking during the programme on the topic ‘’ becoming the bias breaker’ Hajia Mariam Iddrisu, the former MCE for sagnarigu municipality and now the Executive Director of Girls to Women Foundation shared steps to breaking the bias. As the first female MCE in a more conservative community in the northern region, she is a bias breaker herself. She highlighted her experiences from her days as a student leader in the university to occupying the post of the MCE for Sagnarigu.
In her presentation, she mentions the steps, challenges and lessons learnt in her journey of occupying a leadership position. As a bias breaker, she says girls need to be assertive, believe in their leadership ability and also have a great support system that they can rely on before they can become bias breakers. Another point she adds is for girls to be prayerful.
The regional Girls Education Officer, Madam Linda, whilst speaking on the topic: “The Impact of Gender Bias on the development of Northern Ghana” highlighted biases toward girls and how these affect the girls negatively with regards to their development and growth. She mentioned that, if this is left to continue, the development of the North will be slow as the North cannot develop when half of its women are not actively participating in decision-making processes.
To her, the fight to break the bias is an all-inclusive show. As parents, community and religious leaders are deeply involved in giving out girls to marriage either planned, unplanned rather than educating them. For her, women should be open to change in developing their inner strength, their ambitions, and their passion rather than consciously demoralizing themselves.