As the world prepares to mark this year’s International Women’s Day on Monday, March 8, 2021, Sr. Olivia Umoh, the Directress of Safe-Child Advocacy, a humanitarian organisation in Ghana’s Catholic Archdiocese of Kumasi is advocating for the recognition and empowerment of women as full humans.
“I advocate for a day that women would be treated as full humans; respected for who they are (life-givers) and appreciated for the gifts they are to society. The unparalleled contributions they make to the human family”, Sr. Olivia Umoh, a member of Daughter of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul Congregation stated in an opinion piece ahead of the day.
In her piece, she also advocated for an end to all conditions that subject women to slavery and exploitations of any form, whether domestic violence, human trafficking, early or forced marriage, unequal treatment or marginalization of any form within the society.
“Let us celebrate those great women who have excelled beyond the different forms of inequalities and oppressive cultures and play key roles in politics, economics, religion, academia, health, motherhood, and every aspect of society,” she stated.
According to Sr Umoh, “We must also recognize and celebrate the wonderful women who carry life’s struggle and the burden of oppression, exploitation, and disrespect,” adding “Women whose dignities have been violated yet they continue to contribute in their sweat to raise their children.”
She noted that they have equally enriched society with their hard labours, and pains and they must be recognized and appeased, stating that “These women would forgive society when society appreciates their position and valour and cease to perpetuate inequality.”
She expressed worry that “It is mind-boggling that some members of the opposite sex even from very low life’s positions such as no or low academic background, no jobs, no skills, etc. would express utter disrespect/disregard for a person simply because she is a woman.”
On the contrary, the Catholic Nun maintained those same persons will accord high respect to a male from a lower life’s cadet because he is a man. Sadly, this disregard also comes from highly exposed persons of the opposite sex who are expected to think and act differently.
“Some women themselves do not act differently while some downplay their worth and that of their fellow women,” she lamented, adding “There are women who would not vote their fellow women into positions but would rather vote in a man who is less qualified compared to the contesting woman.”
According to her, some women shy away from vying for what they are well qualified for, either because they do not want to be seen as too forward or they fear to underperform in the position.
This, she stated, “By, so doing, women themselves fail to insert themselves within their rightful position in the society.”
This discourse, she stressed called for a change of mindset from the current win-lose position to a win-win position, where both genders see, appreciate, values each other’s contribution in every sphere of life.
“They need to accord equal respect and dignity to everyone. Similarly, women would insert themselves where they naturally belong, in the centre, not at the periphery of society. Women are endowed with innumerable qualities,” she emphasised.
The Safe-Child Advocacy Directress was of the view that women only need to assert themselves, take their rightful position, and make their unique contribution to society, saying “In fact, we are in a no contest. No need to crawl for men to stand tall. We can all stand tall beside each other.”
With a vision of ensuring that all children live, grow and are cared for within their homes and that no child spends his childhood on the streets, it aims at addressing the issue of vulnerable children especially girls and women living on the streets of Kumasi.
As a charitable organisation, it is committed to addressing the reality of children on the streets of Kumasi by helping them to explore other options in life. Offering enabling services to motivate them towards reintegration, empowering them by providing opportunities for education and enterprise development.
Source: Modern Ghana