So much to do, yet so much has been done! As Akua and I begin to collaborate on our first project, I am daunted by the task ahead while still bouncing with excitement to see the final product.
As soon as Akua and I began our one-on-one correspondence, we began to center our three-week project around the idea of a Simili radio program focused on feminism and gender issues. Last year’s fellows created this truly engaging program surrounding the idea of “What is the difference between a black person and a white person?” that sparked a fascinating community dialogue about race. Instead of making the mistake of imposing Westernized ideas onto a group of people, we want to explore a platform for community voices, while offering the initial probing questions.
We began our research and already I feel we have made real progress. Akua has found plenty of valuable information about the history and significance of the Simili radio station while I have studied Ghanaian statistics about gender inequalities and a study on the positive effects of Simili Radio for rural areas.
One of the most interesting pieces of research I found so far was a personal essay written by a male Ghanaian teacher about his experiences with gender inequities. He retold this disturbing story about a young girl who was taken out of school to marry a 55-year-old man while her twin brother was allowed to continue schooling. He went on to encourage Ghana to change its legal age of consent to at least 18. I really was grateful to find a voice directly out of the community, but now I’m searching for personal narratives from women as they directly experiences these inequalities on a daily basis.
As the project continues, I am turning my research towards the writings of African feminists, sociologists, and philosophers to help me pose the question, “What is the difference between a man and a woman?” I want to present the case of how gender is a social construct and how gender roles are imposed on us at a young age, but I want to find these studies from the perspective of African female scholars.
Even though there is much work ahead of Akua and I, I am excited see the possibilities of our project become physical.