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The Ghana Team had a unique experience on the weekend of 25-27 April 2008, learning photography and video techniques, under the tutelage of Tessa Lewin, the RPC Communications and Learning Officer and Anna Kari and Guilhem Alandry of Documentography. Participants were from the Foundation for Female Photojournalists (FFP), Memento Films, and one each from the Institute of African Studies and RPC Ghana and the training took place at the University of Ghana, Legon campus.

Participants:

25 year old Patience Dzormeku is a photographer who is passionate about issues of women and children. The last of four girls she loves to smile and loves people who smile. She dislikes it when people don’t smile and frown. She is an easy going person, who loves making friends. Her happiest moments are when she achieves a set goal and when she puts a smile on depressed faces simply by her infectious smile. However, Patience hates it when people look down on women. She receives inspiration from observing women in higher positions in society, thus is empowered to do things beyond her imagination. Her ultimate dream is to do her best to help women and children in deprived areas, and also to advocate for the rights of women and children.

Giving someone the strength or the ability to do something beyond human imagination. Giving someone the opportunity to do better in life. What does Women’s Empowerment mean to you? Changing the perception of how women feel about themselves. Giving them the “push” to leave the behind the feeling of inferiority.

Mardey Ohui Ofoe is a photojournalist and a filmmaker in Ghana. She is concerned about development issues for the poor. Her dream is committed to building the works of women in the media and the arts in Africa.

Empowerment is the process of overcoming. Women’s Empowerment is the path to finishing.

Harriet B. Darko is 34 years old. She is a professional photographer, starting photography work way back in 1994. She graduated from the Tema Technical Institute and did her internship at the New Times Corporation newspaper house from 1996 to 1998.

Photography is actually part of me. It started as a hobby and later turned to a profession. I enjoy taking all kinds of pictures. I like making friends, travelling, swimming and reading. Empowerment is the process of creating the enabling environment for a person to be able to achieve results. Women’s Empowerment is creating the enabling environment for women to be able to take charge of their environment.

Diana Oppong is a dynamic and skilful young lady who has a proactive attitude towards development issues. She is a journalist by profession and is currently working as a communication person for a very reputable Non-Governmental Organisation known as the Foundation for Female Photojournalists (FFP).

I like reading, solving puzzles and browsing the internet. Due to my experience with FFP, I have developed a new understanding of communication. And this, I have learnt is the use of photographs in expressing what one feels. Honestly, it has become my priority to do the best of photos in my everyday life. 

Empowerment means to boost the emotional capacity of a person to claim the rights in society. Women’s Empowerment is pointing the woman to the need for fighting for her rights and privileges in order to live a comfortable life.

Ruhiya Issah is 22 years old. She learnt photography in 2003-2004 at the Ghana Institute of Journalism organized by FFP. 

I love to see images created by me, I get so excited and crazy especially when a picture is captioned with my name on it. I’m currently studying Higher National Diploma (HND) in marketing in one of Ghana’s polytechnic institutions. This means I‘ll be practising marketing. I will use my photography knowledge to communicate with customers, the products/service I’m dealing with. Nonetheless, I have participated in photo and video documentaries on women and children under different themes. This experience has proven to me that there is lot more work to be done in order to project the importance of women and the need for them to be empowered. 

Empowerment is the process or act of improving the lives of people through knowledge and skills. Women’s Empowerment is the ability to build the capacity of women in various fields of endeavour in order for them to make informed decisions about their lives and that of others.  

Benjamin Mills Lamptey is 40 years old and works as a photographer, video camera-man and video editor at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Legon.

I am in the Audio-Visual Section. My hobby is film making, music, reading. I like football, boxing. I love eating rice, banku, fufu and light soup. 

My understanding of empowerment is to give a person the ability to do something for him/herself, to direct somebody or to give somebody knowledge. Women's empowerment means something that can enable you to create a new environment, and to face challenges as a woman.

Akofa Anyidoho

Akofa means “comfort” or “solace” in my father’s language. I love reading, creative writing and listening to music. I see myself as a thinker, an artiste and a budding creative writer - I’m passionate about expressing myself via journaling, blogging. I think new media is cool. I’m pretty excited about life in an unassuming way and see myself also as a fruitful vine. I intend getting a book published someday soon, but don’t ask yet what’s it going to be about! 

Empowerment is to empower a person, to give power, ability, resources to a person to be able to do something, to achieve something. In essence, to create an avenue for a person with less power, who might be vulnerable to rise above his or her present situation and status. Women’s Empowerment is to give women the power, ability, resources, etc. to move beyond the status quo, beyond cultural, economic, social, religious and political restrictions, so that they can be more of who they are.

Jojo Richardson works with his son, Paa Kwesi running their own film production company, Memento Films and has ambitions to set up his own television station. He studied film and Television Production at the National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI) and has worked with various television houses in Ghana, such as GTV, TV#, Tropical Vision Storm and CAPA in Togo. Currently, he is particularly interested in producing documentaries. He loves to study nature in quiet, peaceful times.   

Empowerment is the process of showing ways and means of reaching or directing individual goals and achieving your aims. 

Women’s empowerment is the process of freeing oneself from domination and to have the choice to govern oneself politically, socially, economically, etc.

Daniel PaaKwesi Richardson

I am a video editor and I also do a little bit of graphics. I am a student of NAFTI, Studying Film Sound Production. My interest is in Music and Films. I just want to say that I like the television screen. 

Empowerment is knowing your rights and the things you can do in various situations. Women’s Empowerment is educating women to understand their position in society, helping them overcome things that isolate them. Educating women to rise above situations that are stereotyped to their everyday life.    

Emmanuel Lamptey is 26 years old with a video training background. He currently works at the Foundation for Female Photojournalists (FFP) as a Communications and Administrative Associate. 

I also do Photographs and Videos. I like watching movies and listening to music. What I dislike is gossiping.

Empowerment is the term given to the process of incorporating knowledge in people. Women’s Empowerment? It’s the act of training women to be independent and what they have to do at certain points in their lives.

Photos

Harriet Darko (from the Foundation of Female Photojournalists) thought a good way of provoking discussion around the issue of Women’s Empowerment in Ghana would be to show women in roles not traditionally associated with them. She and her team did an exercise where they staged unconventional scenes of Harriet around the University of Ghana Legon campus to test out this idea.

Mardey Ohui Ofoe made a portrait series of Patience Dzormeku and Ruhiya Issah took photographs of the women working in the kitchen at the African Studies Guest House at the University of Ghana, Legon campus.

Akofa Anyidoho, Patience Dzormeku and Benjamin Mills Lamptey who were led by, Guilhem Alandry, were sent out to interview several female students about their education, comparing it with their mother’s and grandmother’s.

Jojo Richardson and Daniel PaaKwesi Richardson from Memento Films conducted a series of short interviews with women on the University of Ghana, Legon Campus talking about their understanding of empowerment.

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