and there were no reports of stomach pains the following day.
Who says a man can’t do what a woman does? The men also did the cleaning afterwards.
But the day definitely belonged to the women. Baadjoo, with a large female component, played to the greatest delight of all. It is not customary for women in African music to play the drums but the women of Baadjoo could drum as well as the men. Who says what a man can do, a woman can’t do? Baadjoo performed music from different parts of Ghana and beyond. They beat the drums and they danced in circles and other formations. They sang in Twi, Ga, Dagbani, and they sang about Kwakuvi who will not go to school but wants to sell wireless… It was a scintillating performance of the highest professional standards and you won’t believe that this is a group of Swedish amateurs drawn from different parts of the country. Click here to see images from the evening and the performances.
In her address to the gathering, Prof Hanna Akuffo expressed delight that something she wondered about at last year’s celebration had changed: the men doing the cooking. She was also delighted that at the afternoon session, a woman’s body was discussed openly by both men and women. She said openness made it easier to control the problem of aids in Sweden but regretted that such was not the case in Ghana. She invited the audience to reflect on why this was so. She was of the opinion, like the afternoon speakers, that the right of a woman to own and decide over her own body would have a crucial impact on the spread of the epidemic. She asked parents to make their girl children feel good about themselves so that they will make the right judgment. She called for real gender balance and not just one in which a woman was thrown in to fill the gap. She expressed the hope that issues of women would become mainstream ones so that there would be no need to make something special just to highlight such issues. She regretted that the afternoon session was not well attended by the ladies and hoped that next time the women would be there. Ladi Suberu, on behalf of AFRIS, addressed the crowd on condom use and urged all not to shy away from it. Free condoms were distributed to all willing to have one.
Earlier in the day, a seminar on women’s sexuality was held. It was addressed by Karin Fransson from Stockholm’s RFSU and Victoria Kassewa of ASR. Karin talked about sexually transmitted diseases and said condoms were the best method to prevent them. She brought condoms for inspection by all and distributed literature on diseases that can be contracted sexually.
In her presentation, Victoria Kawesa said almost every family in Uganda had lost a member to aids in the 80’s but the governments awareness education has successfully reduced deaths from 30% to 6%. She revealed that of the 40 million people carrying the disease, 25 million are in Africa. Sweden has between 3500 and 4000 cases but doctors here have been able to treat sperm in such a way that infected people can still have healthy children.
She advised parents to be able to have dialogue with their children about their feelings and not to use force in doing so. She said a woman’s body should be well kept like a home and advised women to use a condom in times of weakness.
The seminar ended with questions and answers.
Click here to see images from the evening and performances.