Five Ghanaian female artists have been selected to participate in the 13th edition of the “World Music Festival of Women from here and elsewhere, ” to be held in Accra.
The women known by the stage names “Quayba, Laura Etemah, Sundri Feeling, Della Hayes and Esinam” would compete alongside 15 other artists between November 16 and 20, 2022.
The global festival sought to project the concerns of female artists around the world to address the challenges and gaps in gender equality.
It would be organised in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization; Centre for Communication and Culture (CCC); Women in tourism and Afro Mondo.
Speaking at the launch of the festival in Accra, the Chief Executive Officer of BM Culture, Mr Moustapha Ahounou, said that the four-day event would attract journalists, promoters, artists and top industry players from all over the world.
He said that the festival would bring together female artists with different cultural backgrounds and examine “the status of the women artists, as well as the contribution of female African singers to the narrative of Africa.”
Mr Ahounou noted that while culture and entertainment created employment for women, at a global level, they were not being granted the same rights, financial support, career opportunities and professional acknowledgment as their male counterparts.
Mr Ahounou said that the persistence of dominant outdated views on gender, negative stereotypes, and limitation on freedom of expression contributed to gender-specific challenges related to “accessing specialized technical and entrepreneurial training as well as financial resources.”
The Executive Director for CCC, Mr Enimil Ashon expressed his concern over the increasing cases of women being side-lined for their male counterparts, and urged stakeholders to desist from such practice.
“We at the Centre for Communication and Culture are appalled by rumours and confirmed stories
of women who are often given the short end of the stick when negotiating their interests as performers,” he explained.
Mr Ashon urged society to embrace gender equality and provide female performers with the same opportunities as male performers without any strings attached.
“The Centre for Communication and Culture not only believe in the sanctity of human rights, but more importantly the rights of women. I have a wife and sisters whom I care about so I know that some of the females in Ghana are the best professionals you can have around,” he added.
Reminiscing her past experiences, the founder of the women of colour band, Della Hayes, revealed that she had been downplayed by male industry players.
“Founding a female band 15 years ago, wasn’t easy because I have been talked down, downplayed and so many disappointing instances but I kept moving on and pushing,” she explained.
Ms Hayes urged parents not to curtail the dreams of their girl-child of becoming artists but rather “support and encourage them so they can excel in their field.”
BY JESSEL LARTEY THERSON-COFIE