Location: Women With Disabilities Craft Group, Bolgatanga, Ghana
As March reigns as the month dedicated to women, working out here in Ghana, our team decided to mark International Women's Day with one of the craft groups that we've been working with. The craft group is for women with disabilities, and their craft is dying material to be made into clothes such as dresses, shirts and kimonos. Our aim is to make their business profitable as well as to broaden their skills, and it's been lovely getting to know the women that live and work here in Bolgatanga! They are all super friendly, so we were delighted to be able to share the day with them.
The group asked us for more training and so we arranged a bead training session in order to teach them how to make jewellery using beads, as well as how to diversify their product range. We also spoke to them about the importance of IWD and illustrated how giving them valuable skills can help to empower them through increasing the success of their business, and ultimately improving their livelihoods. The day created a sociable atmosphere and it showed me the importance of coming together. It doesn't matter your gender, your abilities or the colour of your skin and to see that in action is truly amazing. The ladies even let us make our own jewellery to take home with us!
A few people expressed their confusion of why we celebrate International Women's Day, even arguing that men and women are in fact pretty equal in this day and age. Now, it's not just a day for spending the afternoon listening to Spice Girls (although it's a pretty valid reason to). Starting over 100 years ago, it was a day to fight for women's rights, and now in 2016, it was a day to continue the fight for equality for both genders. We have come a long way since getting women the right to vote, but there is still a long way to go when you consider that the World Economic Forum estimated that it would take an incredible 117 years to achieve gender equality on a global scale. Every year we get closer to this goal, and we will continue to fight gender pay gaps, put more women in leadership roles, find ways to support women in the workplace when they need to find childcare and still earn money, as well as working for equality in countries such as here in Ghana where many women are still expected to choose motherhood and marriage over a job.