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Deepening conversation on Women ABANTU for Development, University of Bristol engage Women Journalists on Film; ‘When Women Speak’

When Women Speak
Dr. Kutin, Dr. Skinner engaging in discussions. (Dr. Skinner in print)

By Rebecca Ekpe

The first time I watched the Film; When Women Speak, I immediately noticed quite hugely the depth of history, research and the contribution of Women to the emancipation struggle.

The Second time I watched the Documentary, what stood us clearly was a reiteration of the role of Women in nation-building and their struggle to be heard and to be represented, given their contribution to national development in the State, Ghana.

What is When Women Speak?

When Women Speak tells the stories of 16 Ghanaian women who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s.

The Documentary chronicles their historical perspectives as Ghana traversed military, single-party and multi-party rule.

As very prominent women in Public life spans Media, Legalese, Academia, Politics and Civil Society, they shared experiences about how women mobilized over the years. In Fact it was clear in the story line that feminism or mobilizing Women, or for that matter ‘’Gender Activism’’, is not alien.

The women genuinely felt that they had to take action, mobilize to seek for their rights and protection. The issues of Intestate Succession, Shattering the Glass Ceiling, and building the capacity of the next generation to take up the mantle were among the issues that were brought to the table.

The film was directed by Aseye Tamakloe and shot entirely in Ghana with a Ghanaian crew.

A collaboration with University of Ghana and University of Bristol, UK.

Cast of When Women Speak:

The contribution of these 16 women to the emancipation story of women in Ghana cannot be relegated to the background.

  1. Professor Takyiwaa Manuh
  2. Professor Akua Kuenyehia
  3. Professor Dzodzi Tsikata
  4. Elizabeth Ohene
  5. Nana Konedu Agyeman Rawlings
  6. Mrs Vicky Wireko–Andoh
  7. Dorcas K coka-Appiah
  8. Elizabeth Akpalu
  9. Mrs. Hannah Owusu –Koranteng

10.Hillary Gbedemah

11.Pgnaa Catherine Bob–Milliar

12.Professor Dolphyne

13.Dr Rose Mensah–Kutin

14.Hannnah Owusu-Koranteng

  1. Dr .Joyce Aryee

16.Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings

The Relevance of When Women Speak:

The story about women’s rights in Ghana must continue to be told. Generations down the line ought to understand where it all started, how it’s going and the way forward. In line with this, ABANTU For Development convened session for Women Journalists as part of a collaborative project led by Dr Rose Mensah-Kutin (Executive Director of ABANTU) and Prof Kate Skinner (University of Bristol, UK)

It was on the theme: Using Historical Film to Challenge Misrepresentation and Inform Practice on Gender Activism in Ghana.


At the end it was poignant that the discourse about women’s rights ought to continue.

That more collaboration is needed on the front to align issues in the right perspective.

However, for now, the underrepresentation of women in governance and politics in Ghana is a huge gap that needs to be addressed. Perhaps the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill into law may be the proffered remedy.

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