The 2021 edition of Women-Connect Conference was held in glitz at the A.M.A City Hall on Saturday, the 4th of December, 2021. The event was emceed by Hitz FM’s award winning journalist, Doreen Avio whiles Joy FM’s Edem Knight-Tay moderator for the day, led a very interactive panel discussion session.
This year’s Conference was themed; Woman on The Go (Staying Mentally Healthy as you Juggle Everyday).
The Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana, H.C Kati Csaba; The Special Guest of Honour from the Diplomatic Community, highlighted some key areas that the Canadian Community takes keen interest in.
She spoke about Canada's Feminist Foreign Policy. She reiterated that Canada advocates for Gender Equality and Women Empowerment. She mentioned one of Canada's recent supports to Ghana in ensuring menstrual hygiene for women during the Covid-19 pandemic. Education for women in the area of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) was also a key issue that Canada has been working towards. She applauded Ghana for doing well in including women in the peace building process. The Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana, Kati Csaba spoke about how she had been able to balance her career as a Woman On The Go with her private for the past 30 years.
Women-Connect Conference is a platform which provides networking opportunities for women to expand their personal and business networks in Ghana and beyond. This is a conference created to empower women in their various fields of endeavour; from health, through to the creation of wealth.
The aim of this year’s conference was to open up the conversation on Mental Health in Women. The conversation on Mental Health in general is accompanied with stigma in Ghana and other parts of the African continent. That is why the organisers of Women-Connect Conference decided to zero in on Mental Health in Women, this year.
The conference saw about 120 participants with a number of speakers, including, experts from the health sector, certified counselors, and women from the corporate world, who are juggling their private lives with their professions.
Dr. Abena Pinaman Appau, The Hospital Director for Accra Psychiatric Hospital & Consultant Psychiatrist-Our Special Guest Speaker, highlighted the startling statistics on Mental Health in women Worldwide. According to her, Mental Health of women is one of the least talked about, often misunderstood, unidentified and presents one of the greatest threats to lasting peace in the home and by extension to national development. She reiterated that the discourse about mental in women should include men since they contribute greatly to the success of the discourse or otherwise.
Some of the topics that were addressed at the conference included; Relationships and Mental Health in Women, Gender-Based Violence and Mental Health in Women, Work-Related Stress and Mental Health, Child Bearing Women and their Mental Health, among others.
Mrs. Francisca N. Karikari The Founder & CEO of GloryGate Group of Companies and Co-Founder/MD of Liberty Insurance Brokers among other things stated that that an ambitious woman can protect her mental health by setting personal goals and setting parameters to achieving them and reviewing them where necessary to be motivated, avoiding procrastination, being with like-minded people who have your success at heart, building yourself through education, having a hobby, rejoicing in your success and self-care. According to her, one cannot be a superwoman; work gives fulfillment but our pursuit of leisure is key to happiness.
Hormonal changes in women during their child-bearing was also said to give rise to issues of depression and other Mental Health Issues.
Other speakers included Mrs. Abena Biney - Deloitte Ghana, Anatu Ben-Lawal- CEO, Social Innovation Africa, Papa Kwamina Amoo (Mr. Smooth)- Marriage, Sex and Relationship Coach, Dr. Peggy Asiedu Ekremet-Psychiatrist and Ms. Hannah Aboyinga Psychologist, both of Accra Psychiatric Hospital.
The organisers of Women-Connect Conference in an interview disclosed the daunting nature of putting together a conference which boarders on the subject matter of Mental Health in Women. They are however excited about the steady growth and impact that the conferences are having and have hinted on the need to organise more sessions on the this year’s theme and include men in the discourse as it is key in achieving an open conversation that will yield positive outcomes.
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