Theodora Aidoo is a broadcast journalist from Ghana. Special for her love for women development, she believes that being a woman doesn’t hinder you from attaining any goal your heart desires. It is disheartening; she says, when I see many women especially in my profession give up on their dreams and aspirations. Only a few women are able to live their dreams and achieve their goals. We must create a paradigm shift, by making sure more and more women are gradually conscious of the fact that they too can dream and live their dreams.
I asked her the source of her great passion and she said “Well, I’m particular about women because I am a woman and I get so agitated when I see female folks sidelined all because they are women. Society has placed it in our subconscious that there is a limit to what women can do. It dates back to the archaic perception about a woman’s place being in the kitchen. There is this notion that certain roles/goals are for men only. The way a male child is groomed is so different from the way his female counterpart is groomed. The boys are made to believe that they ought to be hardworking to be able to cater for their family whilst the girls are groomed to be homely. Society has for a very long time looked down on the woman’s ability to contribute to social development. It’s high time women are viewed as humans that can contribute their quota to the development of human capital and infrastructure. I am optimistic that all these will change with time but it is in our role to accelerate the change.”
She said “charity they say begins at home. That’s why I use every opportunity I find and every platform available to encourage women. Let’s begin to see ourselves as persons who can make impact in the society. Let’s believe in ourselves and our abilities. Until we change our own mindset about who we are, it will be difficult for others to see the good in us.I always say that everyone has a life to live. I hear these phrases daily like; you are not growing younger, your mates are married, you are too ambitious, when u pursue leadership roles, it’ll be difficult for you to get a husband and all that stuff, but the question I ask is; is marriage the ultimate thing? God created everyone for a reason and I doubt marriage is one of that reason. Women leaders should emphasize what the book of Ecclesiastes 3:1 says that for everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. On a lighter note, there is no award for early comers or late comers in marriage. It takes some women minutes, hours or days to get the right man for them. It takes others months even years so there is nothing to hurry about.”
I have been eager to ask this question so I took my chat with Theodora as an opportunity to ask about the rumors I hear about Ghana. It is said in Nigeria that in Ghana, children bear their mothers name as surnames and that women actually pay the bride price and if it has helped to reduce child marriage, in response she said; children do not bear their mother’s name as their surname and women do not pay bride price. Child marriage isn’t less popular however there is a conscious effort by the gender ministry and NGOs to combat child marriage in Ghana. My surname is Aidoo and that’s my father’s name.
As we prepared to wrap the session, Theodora said “It’s hard to tell someone who feels her dreams have been shattered, because she is a child bride to pursue her goals. However, marriage isn’t the end of life. There is life after marriage. Before she was given out as a bride, she had dreams and it isn’t late to actualize her dreams. She should seek orthodox methods and take advantage of platforms like She-LEAPS University. I really empathize with women and girls and my final words on this platform is directed to females who were given out as child brides – You are beautiful, You are unique, You are able, And you can do whatever you set your heart to do. So please dream again. Set goals for your self. Get help where necessary and see yourself succeeding. You too can make it. “Be yourself and live your dream”