Some women in the Agbogbloshie/Old Fadama community are concerned about the failure of local leaders to include them in decision-making on issues that bother on the community’s development.
They are of the view that women must be recognized as key stakeholders in community development and must also be given a place to make relevant contributions.
These were among their key reflections in a radio panel discussion at Marhaba FM on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
The activity was held as part of the lined up activities under the Sports for Development project at the Agbogbloshie scrapyard and was put together by Right to Play, Ghana in partnership with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development(BMZ).
Focusing on the theme, “rising above adversity through the power of sport and play amidst COVID 19,” the panel discussion also featured Ms. Lariba Kuriba from the Kayayei Youth Association who is currently a trainer in Sport for development methodology; Ms. Kubura Fusheini, a youth peer leader and trainer in Sports for Development methodology.
The others are Ms. Anita Ansah, a Senior Program Officer at the National Youth Association (NYA) and Ms. Illona Wayo, a Project Officer at Right to Play.
Ms. Lariba Kuriba and Ms. Kubura Fusheini who are women leaders in the Agbogbloshie/Old Fadama community used the platform of the panel discussion to highlight issues affecting women in the community.
Among other things, they expressed regrets that women were not given the needed support and opportunity to take up major community leadership roles that will enable them to influence development.
They were however enthusiastic about Right To Play’s Sports for Development project which they said was helping them to tackle some existing challenges.
“The skills and training we are acquiring under the Sports for Development project is very relevant because for most of us, this head porter work is not something we can continue to do for many years because definitely at a certain age you can’t go on,” Lariba Kuriba said.
Kubura Fusheini on her part appealed to local leaders in the community to give them the opportunity to share the knowledge and skills they have acquired so far through the project since it will be helpful to the community especially its youth.
“I’ll plead that our community leaders. When we come out and ask for the opportunity to talk about what we’ve learnt [at the training] they should give us the opportunity because the skills and knowledge will help our future,” she said.
The National Youth Authority’s Anita Ansah described the work with Right To Play as “critical” for the community.
“The collaboration we have with Right to Play and their partners is one we find to be critical. Sports is not just about football or for men only. There are many benefits for everyone… This project is helping to break the gender-stereotyping associated with sports and through this, women will get the opportunity to contribute to decision-making and engage male-counterparts among other,” she said in the discussion.
Illona Wayo said with the focus of the celebration of International Women’s Day being to address the challenges of gender-inequalities, Right To Play and its partners are committed to using play-based approaches to push women to be drivers of change in their communities.
“Women are playing an active and pivotal role in driving change and development in our communities [and] Right To Play in collaboration with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development(BMZ) is using training and play-based approaches to drive learning and development,” said Illona Wayo.
She added that they are hopeful that the skills and knowledge in areas such as financial literacy, conflict resolution and peace building that are being taught to head-porters will go down to everyone within the community with the trainees passing on the information.
Sue further made a passionate appeal for women, especially the kayayei to be given the opportunity and platform to engage the youth and children in the community, in order to train them in the skill set they obtained through their participation in the Level 1 S4D Workshop for Trainer of Trainer’ Workshop organized in February 2021