Lady Juliet Nyarko Adansi is a gender activist who believes in the power of women and young people and has thus made it her purpose and passion to be a loud voice in the fight against gender inequality. She is a trained and certified Global Self Defense instructor and Sexual and Gender-Based Violence instructor. A global speaker with a focus on leadership, gender, and youth development, Lady Juliet is also a Christian who values her Faith.
We asked her about how it all started and she shared that it happened when she came to full realization of herself and embraced her potential as a woman. This included, she says, nurturing her inner true self, and using all her God-given talents for the greater good. She had to come to a place of acceptance. “It took accepting my flaws and finding the beauty in my strengths as well as weaknesses”
She cites Passion and Purpose as the secret behind her success. Stating that as a passionate and purposeful individual, she believes in lasting legacies. “I believe that my legacies must outlive me so while purpose leads me in the direction of my goals, my passion pushes me to give my best towards its achievement”
Her work as a gender advocate has taken her to several urban and rural communities, and she has encountered various incidents. Highlighting some major ones, she mentions the high prevalence of gender-based violence against women and period poverty. She talks about the number and severity of cases reported daily at The Pearl Safe Haven, an organization in Ghana that focuses on gender-based violence, and how she is constantly astonished.
She also mentions the lack of hygienic menstrual products and the lack of education as an unresolved issue for underprivileged girls in Ghana. “In Ghana, there’s a 20% luxury tax on sanitary products including a 12.5% Value Added Tax which has made pads extremely expensive and unaffordable for girls. This leads to period poverty in Ghana which also influences the increasing rate of teenage pregnancy to a large extent.”
On African women’s inclusion and involvement in politics, she mentions that the continent is slowly coming to terms and embracing the idea of female leadership. This is evident, she explains, in the passing of various laws and bills to promote women’s participation in politics. She cites CEDAW- Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, as an example. “There is currently no law in any African country that prohibits women from contesting or holding political offices and that’s a great feat.”
Lady Adansi notes that there are still some concealed obstacles as not all African countries have passed their affirmative action bills and for the countries where the bill has been passed, there is still a low representation of women in politics. “I believe, however, that it is a gradual process and will see progress as we all work tirelessly together to break pre-existing cultural and societal barriers surrounding female leadership in Africa.”
Talking about the GirlUp campaign, she tells us about the United Nations’ girl-centered initiative founded in 2010, to promote representation for girls and women in spaces where they are underrepresented. “Girl Up promotes gender equality and female leadership by tackling issues around gender justice, gender-based violence, education, STEM for social good, sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice.”
She also mentions Girl Up Ghana region, a collection of 15 registered Girl Up clubs, communities and campuses across Ghana. She informs us of the current project the region is working on; ‘Keep Her In School’. “The project is focused on Menstrual Hygiene Management (Period poverty), Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SHRH), and Teenage Pregnancy among others. It is open for partnerships, sponsorships, and collaborations globally”
Speaking on being nominated for the Women’s Choice Awards 2022, she confides “It always feels great to see your work acknowledged. I must say I feel very honored about the nomination, just as I feel about this interview. I am so proud of myself and thankful to everyone who has been with me on this journey”
We asked Lady Juliet to share five fun facts about herself and she divulged “I am an extroverted introvert. I have only gospel music on my playlist. I am allergic to pineapples. I can eat fufu with any soup all day, all week, all month and all year. When I was a child, I wanted to be a journalist, bank manageress and a chartered accountant (all at the same time!)”