As the world celebrates women on International Women’s Day (IWD) with a focus on women’s right, on the theme “Balance for Better”, I will like to throw light on the harassment some women face in line of duty.
Every year, women are celebrated on March 8 to bring to the fore their social, economic, cultural and political achievement.
In 1911, over a million people gathered in Austria, Denmark, Switzerland and Germany to celebrate the first women’s day in 1911, then in 1975, the United Nations adopted the day to become International Women’s Day.
We live in a country where, when a woman succeeds, chances have it that, she traded the position with sex. This is when the name calling and derogatory remarks starts. Some very qualified women are afraid to take challenging positions or aspire to greatness because “it’s a crime for a woman to be successful”.
In recent times, there have been media reports of women being called names for aspiring to climb either the social, corporate or political ladder. Madam Charlotte Osei, former Electoral Commissioner, Ms Lydia Alhassan, Member of Parliament for Ayawaso West Wuogon are a few of the women who have felt the sharp brunt of these derogatory name calling.
This is very sad because, at a time when the popular mantra “We Rise by Lifting Others” is being touted by many people, the reality on the grounds is the exact opposite and disheartening.
Today, I proceed to talk to a budding sports broadcaster of Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (Volta Star Radio) in Ho in the Volta Region about her career path and experience in a male dominated field.
“They never liked it, I was their biggest competitor” she noted.
I face a lot of challenges in this job, “the male-dominated kind of job. I have heard people say so many wrong things about me. I have been called names. They say I went into sports broadcasting to look for men. The men will sleep with me and dump me,” she said. These are some of the woes the young Broadcaster faces on a daily basis.
Tilda Elinam Acorlor has always been a radio fanatic who attended the GBC training school to become a radio presenter with focus on entertainment and not sports but as luck would have it, she found herself squarely in the sports department under the tutelage of Eric Adzie, a seasoned sports broadcaster with Volta Star Radio and it has been rollercoaster ride for her.
A typical day for her, starts around 0400 hours, produces the sports news and goes live at 7:15 am after Radio Ghana news at 7:00 am. She then proceeds to school later in the day where she is studying for her first degree.
In December, 2017, Ms Acorlor was awarded the best sports journalist in the Region for shining the light on women in sports. This is where her nightmares became a reality. She became the talk, both good and bad of many male dominated group chats. She was dragged through the mud for weeks. Some thought for such a hardworking woman, she didn’t deserve the award because “when did she even come”?
Then came the second award too in 2018 and your guess is good as mine. Some of her colleagues in the industry totally shunned her like someone with a contagious disease. This time around, it was alleged that she exchanged sex for the plaque.
“They just said congratulations on the awards night but the aftermath was horrible. They said all sort of things except my Boss who discovered me”, she told me sadly.
Asked whether she had felt like giving up amidst all these harassments, she said “No! I never wanted to give up on the career I’m trying to build for myself but I wanted to give up tendering my works for an award”.
To what keeps her going after these humiliation, Ms Acorlor said she is at her happiest when her listeners were satisfied and give her their honest feedback.
On International Women’s Day, she urged young women to dare to dream and be courageous to make it a reality, saying, “be passionate and brave about your dream”.
Ms Acorlor is embarking on a project that won her the second award named Street Night Soccer League, as a way of saying thank you to her community, which focuses on young unemployed mainly school dropouts in the Anlokodzi area, a densely populated suburb of the Ho municipality.
The youth in that community play football mostly at night and she hopes to help set them on a football career. It is also to deter them from a life of crime and other social vices noted in the area.