The youngest speaker at the EDD’s: Doris Ofori

Published: 06 December 2010


‘My name is Doris Ofori.’ That were the first words I heard her say. I was sitting in the press room at the EDD’s and I was clicking through the different live broadcasts, and my hand froze as soon as I saw Doris Ofori, a little girl from Ghana. I felt she had a good story to tell and I hope you’ll enjoy it just as much as I did.

15 years ago, she was born in the western part of Ghana in town I wish I could pronounce without twisting my tongue. (I wish I could spell it too, that’s why I don’t mention it). She lived in a community with her parents and her 7 siblings, 5 of them being boys.

She wasn’t giving a lot by the community because she is... a girl. Yes, the feminine discrimination starts that early. Her brothers and other boys from the local community went to school and were educated while she was working at home.‘There is nothing wrong when the boys don’t perform well at school, because they’re boys but girls are victim of school drop- out and they aren’t allowed to say what they are thinking. And I think because women can’t voice out, there’s are problem when decisions are made,’ says Doris.

I was surprised this girl, at such a young age, understands the importance of education and equality. She touched me when she gave her own version of a  Robert M. Maciver -quote (former president of the American Sociologist Association). ‘When you educate a man, you educate an individual. When you educate a woman, you educate a nation.’

‘The government has to give girls the chance to develop their talent,’ she says. ‘A girl can be a role model in her community. Girls shape a higher policy in the country and aspire higher gaols.’ Educating women is a almost certain guarantee knowledge is passed on. Mothers pass their knowledge to their children, from cooking vegetables to the nation’s history. This is passed from generation to generation.

It made me think of my parents. Ok, of course my kindergarten, primary school, high school and other teachers taught me the obvious stuff. I learned how to read & write, learned about maths & geography, learned about politics,... But thanks to my parents, I know how to have my own opinion. They tell me the things teachers don’t teach in school. With this I mean norms and values, but also the simple things, for example the food in your hotel room isn’t free. At all.