During my fifth week in Ghana, I decided not to travel and spend time with my friends, Ghanaian and international, on campus. I attended all my lectures and also had time to go out during the week. On Wednesday we went to a bar/restaurant called Rockstone’s Office in Osu, another region of Accra. We listened to an all-night local jam session of jazz, rock, rap, and funk music. We also went out on the weekend for my British friend Hannah’s birthday. Ghanaian men and women love to dance, so exploring the night clubs is always an energetic adventure!
This week also provided me some enlightenment regarding gender relations and issues in Ghana. I am currently taking a Gender and Reproductive Health course at University of Ghana, and our topic this week was abortion. We learned that Ghana not only has legal abortion, but has one of the most liberal abortion policies in the world. Despite the law, shockingly, only 4% of Ghanaian women know that abortion is legal! Not only is this lack of education an issue, but women continue to have unsafe, unprofessional abortions that lead to high maternal mortality rates and other health issues. This really inspired some passion in me, and I hope to do some work for women’s issues during my time here in Ghana. Women definitely have a noticeable inferior status in Ghanain culture, which is reflected in political, economic and social life. There has not been one day here that I have not been completely aware of my identity and status as a woman. I have always felt safe, but I have had some negative experiences with Ghanaian men and their attitude towards me as a woman. I hope to use these experiences in my work with gender equality.
So far Ghana has been amazing! I love the beautiful environment, full of numerous species of trees, plants, animals and insects. I love the people and their persistent friendliness. I love what surrounds me every day, and I love what I have found within myself because of this new experience.