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Our 2022 International Women’s Day press statement published in major news portals

The Aya Institute for Women, Politics, and Media, has extended to all Ghanaian women in the country and in the diaspora, sisterly felicitations on the occasion of International Women’s Day.

The women’s union in a statement said “we appreciate and recognise women’s relentless and immense contributions to our national development despite the challenges we continue to face in achieving a gender-balanced society.”

The Women’s network indicated that in 2019 and 2020, ExxonMobil and the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) supported its work on creating a database of African women experts to curb the under-representation of female voices, experiences, and expertise on panels and across all platforms.

“We have mostly heard from politicians, media, conference organizers, and corporate organizations the mantra ‘we can’t find the women’ which is not only a convenient excuse for not trying hard but also a lack of appreciation of the abiding barriers in valuing female talent and authority voices.”

“In over 150 programme fliers on subjects of national interests in the media and at conferences monitored by the Aya Institute between September to December 2021, shows that only three programmes had female representation.”

This, it said is not encouraging enough.

It also urged the media, conference organizers, and corporate institutions to commit this year to break the bias on ‘manels’ where there is an excess of male representation at the expense of female voices.

“Data from our Gender Baseline Study (as of 2019) indicate also that for example, the gender composition of political show hosts is unfavorable; out of five prominent media sampled, only one had a female host. Creating a database of female experts and people with experience is one sure way to protect women.”

“The Aya Institute recognizes the reasons why some women have refrained from engaging in national discourses, the kind we see in Ghana today as our public discourses, platforms, and terms of engagement are mainly masculinized. This has been compounded by cultural and social barriers to women’s expression as well as examples of terrible experiences of intimidation, bullying, and misrepresentation,” the statement added.

The Institute also asked for a conducive environment where sensationalism is minimized for facts to encourage more female professional participation.

“Not only is female participation in all spheres a democratic right, but we are also ensuring that women’s talents are fully utilized to the benefit of our developing nation. While acknowledging the challenges with impaneling women in the media, the true test of our commitment to ensuring a gender-balanced society will be the extra work we put in to challenge ourselves that it is possible at all times to include women.”

It also called on conference organizers, the public sector, corporate institutions, and the media to “audit their programmes, recruitment and leadership development to include women to ensure a gender-equal society for us all.”

About She Knows network

The ‘She Knows Network’ is one of the flagship initiatives run by the Aya Institute for Women, Politics, and Media, a pro-gender organization undertaking research, training, advisory, and advocacy interventions with the aim of achieving gender equality.

It was created in 2019 with support from ExxonMobil and the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives from the Canadian government in Ghana.

She Knows Network provides the space both on the continent and globally, where professional women in various fields can be identified and readily accessed for lectures and speaking opportunities, media engagements, board memberships, recruitment, panel discussions, and other opportunities.

Its goal is to nurture and amplify the voices and influence of African women, and cause them to be recognized as thought leaders on the continent and globally.

It believes in fully utilizing the talents of women in all sectors of our national development.

Aya Institute for Women also believes in Politics and Media, gender enhances society.