Thursday, October 6, 2011

Nana Yanful: Intern at Pathways

Nana Yanful, a law student and a Canadian of Ghanaian descent joined the Pathways, West Africa team from May to July, 2011. Below is an interview about her experience.

1. How did you get to know about Pathways of Women's Empowerment in Ghana?
I learned about Pathways through my online research for a project or organization that was using law, social work, policy, etc., to enact change, specifically in the lives of women in Ghana. I stumbled across the Pathways blog, and I instantly loved the work that was being done in Ghana. I had just received a fellowship from my Law school in Canada to go somewhere in the continent of African to contribute to something I was interested in continuing in my legal career. The Pathways project seemed like the right fit. I emailed Akofa Anyidoho for more information, and the rest is history!

2. What informed your decision to do your internship with Pathways of Women's Empowerment in Ghana?
During my research for projects or groups working towards sustainable change in Ghana, I found it hard to find something that was not run by an organization in England, France, the US or Canada. The Pathways project, although partly funded by funds from abroad, is run by Ghanaian women - and many of the women are academics who are committed to working and engaging in Ghana. That was something rare in my mind, and I looked forward to learning more about this, especially in a country like Ghana, where many young people from abroad go there to do "development" work. I was interested to see how I could contribute as a Ghanaian born in Canada.

3. During your internship what work were you engaged in?
I assisted Akofa Anyidoho with the Pathways Photo Exhibition research, collection of photos, and preliminary curation of the exhibition. I also assisted Professor Manuh and Dr. Darkwah in their research on women's work, civic and political participation and empowerment.

4. What were you hoping to learn from Pathways?
I was hoping to learn more on the legal aspect of these initiatives, for example, the forced eviction issue that was mentioned on the Pathways blog. I had hoped to work more with young women and students on campus on some of the issues we were researching, and doing more one-on-one work with community members.

5. Did your experience meet your expectations?
It was a good experience, however, because I came during the summer months, many were away taking their much needed vacations. So at the beginning the work was slow. As mentioned in #4, I had hoped to do more one-on-one work, but overall it was a nice experience.

6. What is ONE new thing you learnt from working with the Pathways team in Ghana?
Issues of sexism and homophobia (gender-based violence) are everywhere in the world. These are issues we as human beings are dealing with all around the world. I was surprised to hear many progressive views by people at Pathways around issues of homophobia, and that was a positive thing.

7. In ONE word, describe your experience.

Thanks for choosing to intern with us and thanks for the interview, Nana!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Blogging & Tweeting Day Against Sexual Harassment & Gender Violence

Today is Blogging & Tweeting Day Against Sexual Harassment & Gender Violence in Egypt, Sudan, Lebanon and Syria.

The hope is to call for a change in the rampant harassment that women in these countries face every day.

There will be a meeting by Nazra for Feminist Studies and HarassMap tomorrow, 21st June, 2011 to share thoughts on the blogging and tweeting experience. Location: 44 Talaat Harb St. , Cairo, Egpyt.

Check out the link on Facebook:

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Coming Soon! The Launch of The Witches of Gambaga

The launch of The Witches of Gambaga is scheduled for Tuesday, 15th February, 2011 at the British Council Hall, Accra, Ghana at 10:00am.

So what is this film about? Curious? Read on!

The Witches of Gambaga is a haunting 55 minute documentary film about a community of women condemned to live as witches in Northern Ghana. Made over the course of 5 years, this disturbing expose is the product of a collaboration between members of the 100 strong community of 'witches', local women's movement activists and feminist researchers, united by their interest in ending abusive practices and improving women's lives in Africa. Painful experience and insight combine to generate a uniquely intimate record of the lives of women ostracized from their communities. Told largely by the women themselves, their incredible stories and struggles are rendered comprehensible to a wide range of audiences by the director’s narration. Completed in July 2010, Fadoa Films Ghana and UK, Directed by Yaba Badoe, Co-produced by Yaba Badoe and Amina Mama.

  • Winner, 2010 Black International Film Festival Best Documentary Award.
  • Has been selected to be screened at FESPACO 2011

REVIEWS of The Witches of Gambaga

"An excellent exploration of how women are victimized ...a valuable resource for understanding how to end this problem." Cornelius Moore, California Newsreel

“An admirably unsensational but powerfully affecting reminder of the terrible influence still wrought by superstition on the lives of so many women.” Geoff Andrew, film critic, British Film Institute

“A brave and brilliant production” Hope for the African Village Child Trust

“...will go a long way to promote the rights of women...” African Women’s Development Fund

Click here to see the trailer of the film on You Tube.

Yaba Badoe is a Ghanaian-British documentary filmmaker and writer. A graduate of King’s College Cambridge, she worked as a civil servant in Ghana before becoming a General Trainee with the BBC. She has taught in Spain and Jamaica and has worked as a producer and director making documentaries for the main terrestrial channels in Britain. Her short stories have been published in Critical Quarterly and in African Love Stories: an anthology edited by Ama Ata Aidoo.In 2009, her first novel, True Murder was published by Jonathan Cape. Her TV credits include: Black and White, a ground-breaking investigation into race and racism in Bristol, using hidden video cameras for BBC1; I Want Your Sex, for Channel 4 and a six-part series, VSO, for ITV. African Love Stories is now available in Swedish from Tranan publishers under the title K√§rlek x 21.

Amina Mama is a Nigerian feminist activist, researcher and scholar, who has lived and worked Nigeria, South Africa, Britain, the Netherlands and the USA. She spent 10 years establishing the University of Cape Town’s African Gender Institute and is founding editor of the African journal of gender studies, Feminist Africa. She authored Beyond the Masks: Race, Gender and Subjectivity (Routledge 1995), Women’s Studies and Studies of Women in Africa (CODESRIA, 1996), and co-edited Engendering African Social Sciences (CODESRIA 1997). She is currently developing a transnational activist research initiative on gender and militarism and pursuing her interest in documentary film. ‘The Witches of Gambaga’ is her first film.
She currently lives in Berkeley and works at University of California, Davis as Professor and Director of Women and Gender Studies.