AFRICAN women must rise and take advantage of opportunities that come with the changing global trends, Dr. Elizabeth Rasekoala, an international development consultant on gender, energy and climate change, has said.
“We are now in a progressive and transformative world and this scenario favours women, but the problem is that African women are oblivious of this change, they are still talking the same old things and problematising their victimhood, instead of realising the new opportunities”, she said.
Dr. Rasekoala was speaking at the opening of the Women Advancement Forum, International Exchange, Research and Academia (WAFIRA) training programme in Accra yesterday.
The three day WAFIRA training programme is a maiden mentorship event, organised by the German Academic Exchange Service DAAD, to bring female academicians and scientists together, to educate them on transformational knowledge skills.
Berit Steppe, Director of DAAD, said the programme was necessitated by the need to boost female representation in Africa’s academia.
Forty –five Masters and PHD students drawn from the various universities in Ghana are participating in the training programme, and they are expected to build networks and develop mentorship skills by the end of WAFIRA.
Dr. Rasekoala said the global economic development criteria had changed and was no longer about the sole use of heavy industrial manufacturing to make wealth, saying “ it’s now about knowledge based economies and societies,the new world is about brains rather than muscle power”.
She observed that the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) two, suggested the need for trans-inter and cross disciplinary measures in solving challenges.
Dr Rasekoala urged women to embrace international knowledge exchange and transfer, because they have not been best served in their efforts to address gender equality on the African continent.
He, however, said “Women have been their worse enemies because they are fighting the wrong battles, we are not reflecting on how we have been conditioned, but we just talk and we problematise which is not getting us anywhere, we need to be innovative enough to solve our own problems,” she said.
She observed that African women were not making progress in the new world because women are not tapping into the development era.
Dr Rasekoala described WAFIRA as a game changing programme where women would be provided safe environment to think outside the box, do all the things they have not done before and focus on opportunities available.
By Linda Naa Deide Aryeetey