Good afternoon distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen present here and those joining us through other mediums, all protocols observed.
As made known, my name is Mimi Duah, the Deputy National Women’s Organizer of the ruling New Patriotic Party. I deem it an honor to be part of this life impactful phenomenal occasion and more importantly as one of the guest speakers, I am extremely grateful to the organizers of this program, Inspired Alswell Foundation.
To all and sundry here, this afternoon I bring you warm greetings from NPP National Women’s Wing led by our empathetic mother popularly referred to as Obaatanpa Kate Gyamfua, who is skillfully assisted by Hajia Safia Mohammed, colleague and my good self. My presence here affirms the wing’s unflinching support and interest in any positive intention toward women’s empowerment, advocacy, and issues revolving around women.
Undoubtedly women are the bedrock of every Nation, from our homes through to our societies in general yet it is no secret that in almost all places worldwide we are still regarded as secondary citizens of the nation despite our immense contribution to economics, religion, agriculture, etc.
Honestly, pondering over what to talk about here today brought a flashback of my life and in particular a frequent question people ask me wherever I find myself after my assumption in office, Mimi how did you do it? Being the first ever youngest to occupy such a position not only within NPP but across the existing political parties in Ghana at age 32.
Let me empower somebody today with my story. People who know me near and far can attest to the fact that I come from a family with no prolific connections or an affluent person who could be used as a shield cover or beckon to get me where I find myself today by the grace of God. Born in Asante Akyem Krofa in the Ashanti Region but breaded in Adedeinkpo a suburb in Odododiodio Constituency noted for a high rate of social vices among children and youth. Eg. School dropouts, gangs, and teenage pregnancy, among others. Through it all I was fortunate to have strict parental guidance and the self-will to change the standard of living my parents could afford me. I was poised to take my education seriously in order not to waste my mother’s meager income from selling Kontomire at Agboboloshie market where you would usually find me on Saturdays selling to support her. I vividly remember all my parents could afford throughout my tertiary education was paying my first-year admission fee and hostel fee. Afterward, I resorted to a student loan to pay my tuition throughout my tertiary while working part-time in a driving school to provide for my basic needs.
Prior to my admission to UG, I developed an interest in politics and started involving myself in the activities of the NPP Odododio constituency because I could reason with the ideologies of the party. Joining TESCON, which is the student wing of the NPP on the University of Ghana Campus, I continued my interest and commitment which I had started with the Odododiodio Constituency. I made a conscious effort to involve myself in all the activities of TESCON. Little did I know that my commitment, enthusiasm, and loyalty amidst other traits had not gone unnoticed. Through TESCON I had the opportunity of working closely and serving Hon. Prince Obeng, Hon. Archibald Cobinah, Hon. Ishmael Ashitey, Hon. Sammi Awuku, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo Addo and Hon. Kate Gyamfua amidst others.
Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t a smooth sail for having to serve these notable personalities with individuals and interests, coupled with fear, intimidation, havoc, threats, and blackmail, amidst other factors that hinder younger ones of today from staying loyal and committed to their bosses and interest and of that of the party as a whole. I was guided by the fact that any given opportunity for me to serve is a test case for me to either fail or succeed because I could be easily replaced wherever the need arises. Here I was always driven by the need and desire to yield positive results in all I do to pave the way for any other young woman out there, hence I resorted to staying humble, respectful, patient, hardworking, and result oriented.
Amidst all my political commitments, I had the burning desire to be economically independent and empowered that explains why till now you will see me selling items on my status and I take advantage of most skills training being organized to learn to better myself and create jobs for others. Basically, due to the time factor, that is me, MIMI DUAH, the youngest deputy national Women’s organizer.
My dearest gathered here, what do you want to be remembered for as an individual? Be empowered today to achieve tomorrow.
In a nutshell, the NPP government led by His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has proven to Ghanaians beyond doubt of absolute importance placed on women’s empowerment by appointing the 1st female chief of staff, making women substantive ministers of the state, and increasing the number of female MMDCEs. Delivering initiative and implementing women-centered government flagship programs Eg. GEA -Ghana Enterprise Agency where 65% of its intervention target women, MASLOC, Girls in ICT, designating certain positions to women only, etc.
Notwithstanding the above, there are the global issues of lack of employment, opportunities, gender-based violence, access to education, and child marriages, amidst challenges that act as impediments to the issues of women’s empowerment. Undoubtedly when more women get empowered, we will see more motivated women who make a positive impact on other women and there will be higher productivity and activity which would yield better business and more opportunities. Women’s empowerment improves our value, quality, and attractiveness as women resulting in an overall enhancement of women’s reputation.
In conclusion, we can only achieve women’s empowerment, by fostering consistent education, awareness, and literacy which will result in decreasing poverty, and encourage political participation, health, and others among women. I will end by quoting Jane Goodalls “What you do makes a difference and you do have to decide what kind of difference you want to make”. Hence let’s begin by looking at women’s empowerment from the individual point of view of what is significant due to our inner-driven power to strive to ensure we distinguish ourselves as women.