Women’s day out

On the 28th of February 2009 Foundation MamaWatoto organized a meeting with the title “Women’s day out”. Purpose was to invite women to discuss topics on women’s issues as well as promoting the theme of the meeting:  Creating changes, Meeting challenges.
Approximately 50 people were present at the start of meeting at 18:30 hours, this extended to approximately 250 people at 22:30 hours.
Objectives of the meeting:
  • To raise awareness among women in relation to gender, violence.
  • Improving women’s self confidence.
  • Get rid of ignorance.
The meeting started with an introduction by the chairperson of foundation MamaWatoto. Mrs. Christine Among.
She explained the various topics and introduced the speakers.
The presentation from 18:30 until 19:00.
Chairperson foundation MamaWatoto Mrs. Christine Among
First speaker was Mrs. Linda Grames. Journalist on Gender/ Chair-woman Platform domestic peace 
She discussed the following topics:
  • Various forms of mistreatment.
  • Gender and sex (who we are and where we stand).
  • Self confidence (women are smart).
  • Perception of differences between women and men in connection with cultural settings.
  • Importance of self reflection and feeling of guilt.
  • Violence and its relationship with partner. Dominance by partner and it traditional roles within relations and cultures.
  • Effects of violence on children and families in general
  • The importance of counseling
  • Lack of self esteem by women caused by violence and its consequent lack of strength to create a change towards this violent attitude.


Mrs Linda Grames (sitting first from left)

The next speaker was Mrs. Iris Shiripinda (Program manager STI/HIV Prevention ethnic minorities Netherlands)
Mrs. Iris Shiripinda (sitting first from the right)
Time of presentation from 19:00 until 19:45
She presented the following topics:
  • Cultural approaches towards women, for example differences between Dutch and African cultures. Outdated practices like Female Genital Mutilation.
  • Sexual prowess of men from different cultures and its behavioral consequences.
Mrs. Shiripinda than challenged the audience on topics presented above with the intend to open a discussion. This approach had the desired effect and the discussions were open and frank. She proceeded in discussing HIV/Aids, stigma surrounding this disease, safety and dangers of sexually transmitted diseases and the importance of condom use. She explained to the audience the use of male and female condoms. The next speaker was Mrs. Djenie Badal (Adviseur Kenniscentrum voor emancipatie)
Mrs. Djenie Badal ( with microphone)
Time of presentation from 19:45 until 20:10
She presented the following topics:
  • Various types of violence, the various different cultures and its attitudes.
After this brief explanation of different types of violence and its connection with different cultural backgrounds established in the Netherlands, she explained the possibility of contacting a Dutch organization called “steunpunt huiselijk geweld” or loosely translated in English:”Support group Domestic Violence”. An organization specialized in helping people with different cultural backgrounds and who are victim of domestic violence.
Tea break
The next speaker was Chief Barima Asamoah Kofi IV (S. Kwasi Oduro) from the institute for Multicultural Training & Development (Stg. IMTRAD).
Chief Barima Asamoah Kofi IV (with microphone)
Time of presentation from 20:20 until 20:30
He gave a following motivational speech on:
Relationship, importance of respect for each other and our surrounding. To love yourself in order to be able to be loved by others. Not to forget that we are all equal in the eyes of God.
The closing speech was spontaneously held by Mrs. Aspa from stichting Nedas. She thanked the speakers and the audience.
After this there was ample time for discussion. Questions raised by the audience were for example:
  • How come that children grow up and that in spite of all discussions in modern history, attitudes towards women do not change?
  • What are the long term effects of antiretroviral medicines?
  • There are programs for women who need help, are there no such programs for men?
After that it was time for food, entertainment and exchange of information and networking.
Watch the video:

Empowering the Disadvantaged