Abena is a graduate of the University of Cape Coast and currently a graduate student at the Ghana Institute of Journalism. She is a young people’s development activist and also has a social enterprise called Benewaa, it’s a clothing line that does advocacy through customized caps, t-shirts, sweaters and cardigans.
She believes that prioritizing the social, economic and political development of women and girls is fundamental to the development of any society. She thrives on fighting entrenched toxic societal norms and practices that hinder the full development and participation of women especially in matters that directly affect them.
Abena has a special interest in women and girls in rural communities. To her, rural women and girls face double the challenges their counterparts in the urban communities face. Challenges such as rape, domestic violence, harmful cultural practices like female genital mutilation, early and child marriages among others. Most parts of her childhood were spent between a rural community and a fishing community where girls had little or no aspirations and had no role models except the older women in their communities who themselves were usually domestic farmers, petty traders and fishmongers.
This is what gave birth to her project called “YEBETUMI“.
Yebetumi, means ‘We Can’. It was founded in 2015 and it is targeted at mentoring and providing skills training in rural communities for girls, they provide mentoring, sexual reproductive health and rights education, consent and body autonomy workshops and grooming. Their goal is to inspire in girls the motivation to aim high, pursue higher education and careers, to see themselves as capable of more and also be conscious of the control they have over their own bodies. For the women, the goal is to give them financial literacy and independence. She usually does these training in partnership with other organizations, they join PTA meetings to educate parents on the need to prioritize the education of their daughters.
Abena’s dream is to create a society where systems and structures provide avenues for women and girls to fully develop their potentials and are given equal opportunities to explore and meaningfully engage in their society.
Keep up the good work Abena!. You are celebrated now and always.