21 August, 2012

Woes Of A Young Ghanaian Woman Scholar

I decided to do a post on Ghanaian perceptions about a young woman scholar when I watched some of the videos of youtube vlogger, BeautifulBrwnBabyDol, who became a professor at a considerably young age.

As I watched her videos on education, I could relate to most of the things she said. Back home in Gh, there are still boundaries preventing women from climbing up the academic ladder. You'll be fortunate if you can get to read a Master's degree (second degree) and a Doctorate degree as a woman. Why? These are some of the perceptions:
  • If you don't marry before obtaining a second degree, you'll never get a husband.
  • You are considered snobbish, arrogant, over confident if you have a second  degree
  • You won't be submissive to your husband.
  • A woman is not intelligent enough to read a second degree.
Two people who inspired me to further my education were my Husband and my Dad. My dad believes that a woman is capable of everything as long as she is given the push. That is how he brought me up and I have always held on to that value. I remember discussing the results of my first semester of the first year of undergraduate school with him. I was complaining and whining about my poor performance in the results and he said,"I didn't know you were this good?" Can you imagine that? I was hard on myself because I thought I had to excel beyond every possible doubt in order to please him. That comment spurred me on to achieve the goal I set for myself and after four years in the University of Cape Coast, I was among the best graduants! I, fully, became aware of my potentials as I went through each semester. Most of the male friends I associated with were whales so why should I settle for a shark? I knew how to balance a social life and an  academic one.

 In Ghana, an MPhil (Master of Philosophy) programme  is a necessity if you want to teach at the tertiary level. When I expressed interest in reading an MPhil programme, another lady asked me if I had the capacity for it. She was opting for a Master of Arts (MA) because it was easier. Males, generally, assumed I had no "social life" that was why I wanted to go into a field reserved for them. Since the MPhil required research work, the lady prefered to stay away from it and the males were doing their best to dissuade me from that course. My then boyfriend, (now husband), asked me if I will be taking the certificate to their homes?

I remember being asked on several occasions if my husband was comfortable with me getting a second degree! He has had his fair share of the sneaky remarks and comments especially from male friends. Some went as far as questioning his choice of a woman; one aspiring for a second degree. To make matters worse, People were interested in why I was schooling again rather than getting married.

Fours years after the first graduation, I am here waiting for a second graduation. It was a rough road but thanks to be the Most High God, am through with it. He has blessed with me with a man of vision who has held my hands through the fire. I have three certificates; undergraduate cert, marriage cert and a Master's cert.

Will I move higher? Yes! But in a different direction. There's nothing wrong with being a young Ghanaian woman scholar.

Emprezz




8 comments:

  1. Wow, I can kind've understand because NJ is so multicultural but have never experienced anything like this myself. Its so good you have such a supportive husband and congratulations on graduating!!!

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  2. Wow. I'm not surprised though because so many cultures have these same values. Those points that you mentioned early in your article are to keep women down obviously. If having a Master's Degree makes me snobbish then I'll take my Upper Echelon self right on to my Master's classes. Also, education has nothing to do with whether or not a woman would be submissive to her husband. You play one role at work and another at home. It also seems to me that some people may have the wrong idea about marriage and submission but hey, I may be reading too much into it.

    It's good that you have supportive people around you. Congrats on graduating.

    *getting off my soapbox now*

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    1. I bet some of the men secretly hoped they could have wives like me.lol.You are not reading too much into it; it's sometimes difficult to deal with marriage and the act of submission.

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    2. Girl you know it. You're a woman with back bone and education who can still run the house like a wife should. Besides, the more education a couple has the more money in the household. SMH.

      Oh and I like to new features and congrats on getting your own domain. I've been thinking of getting my own too.

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    3. Go ahead and get the domain. You know your blog will appreciate. I totally agree with you on the income point.

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    4. Girl I went ahead and bought the domain last night. I'm waiting for it to finish the transition. Just have to figure out which account I'll be accessing everything from. Maybe I'll get a new layout for my birthday in November. My gosh I own my own website. I'm so stoked.lol. Oh and I like that you added a forum too. Good move.

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    5. Congratulations!!It always feels so great because it's a step towards higher heights. Welcome to the new forum too!

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