Opinions From Women of African Descent Wanted


We received this request today:

My sorority is sponsoring an International Awareness 1 day conference in March 09 – the focus will be women of the African Diaspora, working together. So, of course I thought of you.

Before the conference, we’re trying to gather information and opinions from as many women of African descent – all over the world, that we can, so wanted to ask if you’d be interested in participating. Basically, I have a 10-question survey that asks about your views of women in your country. The idea is for us to understand what’s good and what’s bad, so that we can work together to develop an action plan to address the issues facing all women.

Veronica

The MyAfricanDiaspora Team
www.myafricandiaspora.com
www.cafepress.com/kndredgear
info@myafricandiaspora.com
800-504-7184

If you would like to participate please email the ansers to the following questions to Veronica:

Tell me how you see the role on women in your culture/country?

What shaped your view?

Do you agree with this role for women in your culture/country?

What are the strengths for women in your culture/country?

What are the challenges?

How do and or other women you know cope with the challenges?

If you had a magic wand what changes would you make and why?

What would you like for your sisters in America to know about the culture of women in your country?

Is there a particular group of women in your country that are in need of special assistance?

Is there anything else you would like to tell us?

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FE-MAIL TIES – Still waters


FE-MAIL TIES – Still waters
by D-Empress

Word is that when it comes to handling relationship issues, most Jamaican women are sometimes extremely vocal in articulating their desires and dissatisfactions. Word also suggests that women in Africa, as a rule, are generally less outspoken (at least in public spaces), and so, the logic reasons, less emancipated than their Jamaican sisters. True? From what I’ve observed, emancipation in relationships is an elastic truth that women both sides of the Atlantic are grappling with.

Yes, women of the diaspora have been brought up to tell it like it is, claiming their space in fearless self-expression. After all, our history of slavery literally yoked our voices for too long. Strategically, we had to cultivate survival strategies and defence systems which have permeated our psyche, our culture and implicitly, our intimate relations. So, whenever we feel under attack, we lash out – even against our men. Emancipation, you say?

Cultivated Techniques

Sisters this side of the world, have cultivated techniques to manage love feuds in a less confrontational style. This is often interpreted from, Western influenced eyes, as subjugation and misogyny. Now, it’s true that many women living across the African continent have not experienced the trauma of the middle passage, but most probably have historical (many recent) memories of war and displacement and the need to devise survival strategies.

However, when it comes to managing relations with their significant others, emancipation is clearly a matter of interpretation. Honed over many generations, there is an alluring quality to the power of less noise.

Talk so much

A close male friend from Ghana (let’s call him Kobi) says he can’t understand why women from other cultures talk so much, and why they throw away their power so easily and so often. There’s logic in his reasoning.

Recently, he successfully mediated a sensitive situation between a Ghanaian man married to a Jamaican woman, who were on the brink of divorce. Despite the troubled past, both parties wanted to salvage the relationship and were willing to talk through someone they trusted as a mediator – enter Kobi.

Driving his sister friend to the meeting, he advised her to simply state her issues as calmly as possible, listen and chill. She, seething in a volcano of resentment and hurt, could not imagine anything more disempowering. However, feeling she had nothing to lose, she followed his advice.

Long story short, within a week, the mountains of distrust that had grown between the couple began to crumble. The couple, which could now talk calmly to each other and not at each other, made moves to reunite within a month.

Kobi is convinced that his advice paved the way to the peace table. The sister in question agrees. Despite her upbringing, she saw the power of still waters in the midst of turmoil. She understood that her lava contribution would have fuelled the fire as opposed to getting her voice heard. It was heard. She recognised that her internal defence system was designed to shatter resistance at all costs – sometimes necessary. However, in the relationship arena, she is learning to build trust through love-anchored stillness. Emancipation you said?

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First Female Vice Chancellor Inducted into Office

FIRST FEMALE VICE CHANCELLOR INDUCTED INTO OFFICE

By David Alan Painstil Cape Coast

The University of Cape Coast (UCC) became the centre of attraction, for thousands of people from all walks of life, as they gathered in the university’s science auditorium to witness the induction of the first female Vice Chancellor of a state university in the country, Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang.

The University Primary Cadet Corps and Regimental Band, heralded the occasion with a brilliant cadet display, as the students cheered them on.

The procession, led by the Chancellor of the university, Sir Sam Jonah, former president of AngloGold Ashanti Company, entered the auditorium, which was filled to capacity.

In his welcome address, Sir Jonah indicated that the UCC would never cease to impress, as it has made history in transferring power from a male outgoing Vice Chancellor, Prof Emmanuel Adow-Obeng, to a female Vice Chancellor, Prof Opoku Agyemang.

“Once again UCC is offering a fine example of how power can be transferred from one administration to the other. In 87 days time, the people of Ghana would vote for a new administration. It is our hope and prayer that the processes will be free, fair, transparent and peaceful,” he said, attracting large applause from the crowd.

According to Sir Jonah, who inducted Prof Opoku Agyemang into office, the woman has joined an exclusive club of female vice chancellors on the continent, and in the world, and that he was proud to be the first Chancellor to preside over that groundbreaking event.

“Naana, you have certainly earned your stripes; you have exhibited great courage; you have simply refused to accept status quo, which imposes unfair disadvantages on the role of members of your gender in all endeavours of life. Indeed you have shattered the glass ceiling, and today you have done more for the future of members of your gender,” Sir Jonah described Prof. Opoku Agyemang.

Sir Jonah revealed that nobody challenged the nomination of Prof. Agyemang, and that alone, indicated that she was qualified for the job.

Sir Jonah also praised Prof. Adow-Obeng, for his immense contribution towards the development of the UCC, which has led to the astronomical increase of students from 8,959 in 2001, to about 40,000 in 2008, including 21, 489 distance learners across the country.

In her acceptance speech, the 56 year-old former Dean of Graduates Studies and Research thanked the University Council for the confidence reposed in her, and promised to run an open and transparent administration.

She also promised to establish a museum at the university, to preserve successes of Ghanaian personalities and Africans in the Diaspora, as a means of telling the African story.

Prof. Agyemang promised to expand scholarships for graduate students, in order to motivate them to bring out innovative ideas for the development of the country.

Mr. Isaac Ohene was also inducted into office, as the new Registrar of the university.

Present at the event were Prof. Dominic Fobih, Minister of Education, Science and Sports, Papa Owusu Ankomah, Trade and Industry Minister, Nana Ato Arthur, Central Regional Minister and Osabarima Kwesi Atta II, Omanhen of the Oguaa Traditional Area.

Others were Nana Pra Agyinsem, former Council of State Member and Nana Kodwo Kru, Omanhen of the Komenda Traditional Area, as well as Vice Chancellors from other universities.

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