Women in the nineteenth century were categorized as people who were weak and vulnerable, a gender that needed little or no education at all and cast aside. The story in the twentieth century, however, has taken a different turn
Many women are now breaking the glass ceiling and taking prominent positions of leadership that hitherto were the preserve of men. The narrative changed with extensive advocacy for women’s issues and promotion of their potential as more than just housewives and “weaker vessels”, especially in Africa.
In Africa, aside from the low consciousness of women’s rights as human rights, there was a lack of political will to make things happen for women. It took several decades of struggle, advocacy campaigns and the propagation of feminist ideologies through the media to change the narrative. Now women’s right and gender issues have taken roots and assumed a wider dimension including affirmative action and policies to promote more women into leadership and decision-making.
There is a popular saying that “when you educate a man you educate an individual but when you educate a woman you educate a whole nation”. This cannot be mere truism especially as women of the twenty-first century have become breadwinners of many families.
In Ghana, the case of women earning a living at the Adomi Bridge, near Akosombo, is not different. They make up about seventy per cent of the hawkers with thirty percentage being men and children. They have left the comfort of their homes to make something of themselves through hawking. The plight of these women is for a better and safer means of doing business and to avoid vehicular accidents as is the case sometimes.
Sellers making effort to sell their wares by a bus
The fascinating thing about their hawking adventure is when they scream their goods and cluster around vehicles that stop to allow travellers to buy food and water they chase moving vehicles and sometimes throw their goods into the vehicle just to get travellers to buy their wares. The women hawk goods such as pure water, abolo (a local delicacy), shrimps, anchovies, koliko (fried yam), drinks, bread, smoked or fried fish and other items.
Tunnyv Magazine interacted with some of them who expressed the hope to end up as women of substance and prominent persons in society. Despite the challenges of their work, many still hold onto their dreams for better structures from which to sell comfortably. Others too hope for funding support from philanthropists, NGOs or the government to expand and possibly scale up their businesses nationally.
Mawufemor Gabla said hawking was a difficult task…“ In a day I make sales of about GH₵200 but it is not enough to feed the family because the profit is not much. If there is any support that can be rendered we will welcome it”. This a hope she shares with the other hawkers who also expressed the hope that help will come to them one day to make their impact in society felt.