The International Women’s Day (IWD), marked on March 8th, is a global day used to recognize the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women from the inaugural meeting in 1911.
The CEO of MASLOC Hajia Abibata Shanni Mahama Zakariah took the opportunity to engage the female staff of MASLOC across its 16 regional offices across the country.Speaking on this year’s theme, Embrace Equity, the CEO of MASLOC, shared the story of her journey to success and how it took determination and perseverance to attain the level of success she been able to garner.
She shared her story of how she began her basic education at the Yendi Local Authority school, which is commonly known in our local parlance as “Syto”, despite having a prominent politician as her father.
she stated that we see successful women around the globe doing fantastic things and holding high positions of power in leadership and social life. This she reiterated was possible through deliberate efforts from her early stages of life through to her adulthood.
Citing herself as an example, she disclosed that growing up as a young girl from Yendi and having begun her basic education in a local government school, which often lacks appropriate resources compared to a private school, was an obvious obstacle that should have pulled her out of the success equation, yet it did not.
She encouraged the women and told them not to doubt their capabilities and fight hard as the men would do to attain their desired educational heights and accomplish their dreams.
Hajia Abibata Shanni Mahama Zakariah shared her experiences while pursuing postgraduate studies in the United States, and how she defied the odds to excel in her studies to the point where she was able to access a scholarship grant that was later reviewed due to her sterling academic performance at the university.
With regards to her career in politics, she told the women about her experiences as a parliamentary contender in the Yendi Constituency and the gender stereotype campaign that was used against her from those at the grassroots, right to the top of the political structure to discourage her from running.
She advised them not to give up in anything they pursue and stated that despite the manipulations employed against her, she was able to garner the second highest vote in the race, which was unprecedented in the history of elections in the constituency.
Furthermore, she stated that despite her inability to win the parliamentary ticket to lead her party in the constituency, she has been able to demonstrate with visible accomplishments by providing many job opportunities for the youth and several social interventions that have resulted in a significant relief and development in the lives of people in her constituency and the country at large.
She also urged the ladies to be careful while choosing their life partners since their choices will help them advance in their careers and the journey to success.
On this year's theme, Embracing Equity, she remarked that women must set aside their differences and fight for one another. Hajia Abibata Shanni Mahama Zakariah said that many people equate equality with equity, but the two are not synonymous, and the distinctions go beyond semantics.
She said that equality occurs when two persons or entities are given something of equal value, whilst Equity seeks to give appropriate apportionment to both parties for them to be at par. As the CEO of MASLOC, for example, she is responsible for ensuring that all departments and regional offices receive adequate funding for their operations and because some of our regional offices have fewer constituencies than others, they cannot receive the same degree of budget allocation for their operations as other MASLOC regional offices with a greater number of constituencies. She underlined that, while equality sounds great, it does not always imply that everyone affected by a decision would be on a level playing field. You'll need equity to do so.
The Deputy CEO for operations advised MASLOC's female employees to learn from her accomplishments and to follow her example, as she has demonstrated by her works that a woman can also excel in every endeavour. In the closing remarks given by , Mr. Kwabena Asamoah, Deputy CEO responsible for Finance and Administration, he stated that, an event like this, especially on a day like this, is inspiring and worth emulating, and that it would be delightful for the staff to come along with their daughters and sons to hear and learn from the incredible story of Madam Hajia Abibata Shanni Mahama Zakariah on her rise to the top in her career and political life as it is very inspiring. He reiterated the point that women should not be misled to believe that it is impossible to achieve their goals.
If they set their minds to it, they surely can. Having worked with Hajia Mahama Zakariah for some time, one defining trait she exudes is fairness, which she has shown through her daily interactions. The CEO of MASLOC also got the chance to reply to questions and comments from female employees throughout the institution's 16 regional offices about her road to success and the measures she is undertaking to assist and develop, particularly the female employees.
Several management members from the various departments were present to provide their support to the ladies of MASLOC as they celebrated International Women's Day.