Professor Perbi  play videoProfessor Akosua Adoma Perbi
On the back of the strong calls for women empowerment in Ghana, Professor Akosua Adoma Perbi has enumerated the series of challenges women have had to endure in contributing to the development of the country- from the precolonial era to recent times, arguing that the struggle was bizarre.

Speaking at the second session of 2018 J.B. Danquah memorial lecture at the Ghana Academy of Arts and Science (GAAS) in Accra, Professor Perbi said the “British introduced an alien system” but the intervention of Ghana’s first President Nkrumah’s in attaining independence for the country brought an end to the cruelty against women. 

Recounting the practice of why men continue to dominate in the social fields, political life, in the military sphere, in religion, and in the economy and administrative departments, she indicated that the idea of women performing duties under colonial ruling at the time was not permitted. 

Professor Perbi held that, “Women were not given the chance to prove or disprove the fears of the colonial government. Male chauvinism was dominant in Britain and in all Europe, America, Asia and Africa. The colonialist felt that a woman was inferior and weak and that her physiology and anatomy prevented her from performing well.’

“There was also a protectionist attitude because the man who was stronger had to protect the woman who was feeble and of the weaker sex.”

But “that did not deter the Ghanaian woman in performed their traditional roles” in the social fields, political life, in the military sphere, in religion, and in the economy, she said.

With a focus on women, this year’s speaker, Professor Akosua Adoma Perbi, author of ‘A History of Indigenous Slavery in Ghana from the 15th to the 19th Century’ is expected to bring to observation, the significant role of women in society.

This year’s lecture aims at unearthing women’s contributions in Ghana in the social field, political life, in the military sphere, in religion, and in the economy, and noting difference within the time frames of pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial, and their impact on society at large.

Lamenting on some of the struggles, she added that “the scheme under Gold Coat service were very hard on women. All married women employed on temporary basis and they were not entitled to annual leave, maternity leave, sick leave or pension.”

However, the story of the impact of colonialism on the roles of women was re-written under the watch of Kwame Nkrumah when the battle for self-governance was won.

“The situation remained as such until 1963 when Ghana under President Nkrumah witnessed great changes in the status of women.”

The three day event which launched on Monday, February 26 is themed ‘Women in history: the case of Ghana – pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial’.

The lecture will be concluded by highlighting roles, “illustrating examples in our history and ending with the caption ‘we have always been visible – voices of Ghanaian women, through time and space’”, she added.

This is considered a significant lecture, especially at a time when the intensity of feminism has led a lot of Ghanaian women to question their roles in society.

Students from the Presbyterian Boys Secondary School, Accra Girls Senior High School, Accra Technical Training College and Kaneshie Wesley Girls senior high school were present to witness the second session chaired by Professor Samuel Sefa-Dedeh, Vice President, Sciences.

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