"We can do it! Look for the opportunity in every situation and grab it!"
Anna Mensah, Senior Executive Associate in Ghana says the COVID-19 crisis can be an eye-opener
On March 8, it's International Women's Day. This year’s theme is "Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world", celebrating the tremendous efforts by women around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. At UNICEF, we want to celebrate the achievements of women in leadership positions, and also those who display leadership qualities.
Throughout the whole month of March 2021, the Women's Month, we publish the stories of only a few of the many women who make a difference in UNICEF every day. Today, we host the interview of Anna Mensah, Senior Executive Associate in Ghana.
There was increased violence among girls and women and early marriages as evidenced in Ghana.
But women have high resilience level and are better managers of crisis. We can do it! Look for the opportunity in every situation and grab it!
Senior Executive Associate, Ghana
Who are you and what is your role at UNICEF?
I am Anna Mensah, Senior Executive Associate, working directly with the UNICEF Representative and Senior Management to ensure effective coordination and harmony in the Ghana Country Office.
How did COVID-19 impact your life, both on professional as well as on personal level?
Professionally, I see it as an opportunity despite the obvious associated challenges; an eye-opener to broadening our work horizon. I have learnt so much being part of the critical staff at Ghana Country Office, providing support to the office of the Representative in the implementation of COVID 19 response programme. On a personal level, I have a better appreciation of life's worth and the need to give our all in supporting each other to sail through the journey of life.
Do you think that the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionally impacted women, mothers and girls' lives, and how?
Yes, to a large extent in my opinion. Women, mostly in the informal sector and even in the formal sector lost their jobs; coupled with the burden of managing the home with its associated stress. I would also like to affirm the issue of increased violence among girls and women and early marriages as evidenced in Ghana.
What do you believe are women's strengths, and what are the advantages of female leadership in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic?
Women have high resilience level and are better managers of crisis, with a better understanding of both men/boys and women/girls issues. Female leaders can therefore ensure a more inclusive response in combatting the pandemic so that NO ONE is left behind.
What is your advice to women navigating their careers during a health crisis, as well as in a post COVID-19 pandemic world?
We can do it! Look for the opportunity in every situation and grab it! Build and enhance your qualities and capacity at all times to facilitate both professional and personal growth.