Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Super Girl of The Month - Hikmat Baba Dua

Ms. Hikmat Baba Dua is the last of six (6) children born in Ghana’s Northern Regional Capital, Tamale. However, she traces her maternal and paternal ancestry to Yendi and Kumbungu respectively, both in the Northern Region of Ghana. With an embattled childhood of sickness, she was never a likely candidate for survival, but her praying mother knew one thing for sure; to listen to the voice of God and trust in Him. Given the pivotal role that her mother played in her upbringing, Ms. Baba Dua is of the strong conviction that her mother can never be found guilty of any parental shortcoming. Though unlettered in western education, she valued education as an instrument of liberation and prestige for her children. She went ahead to shoulder the entire responsibility of supporting her children through an educational ladder when no support was near. Through her mother’s unflinching support, tireless prayers and infectious love; Hikmat dared to dream, to believe and to become. As her mother's soul continues to rest in peace, Ms Baba Dua believes without doubt that she lives in her. Indeed, her story would always begin and end with her mother - on whose shoulder she has gallantly stood.

Our Super Girl is a seasoned non-profit executive. An unwavering champion for girls'/women's rights, Ms Baba Dua founded "League of Young Female Leaders" in 2013, to empower and advance the status of girls and women through its core modules; mentorship, advocacy, and literacy development. She is currently the Founding Executive Director of the organization, serving on the Board of Directors and leading an inspiring team of mentors, facilitators, fellows and volunteers. She combines this with her role as the Tamale Local Coordinator for the "HerStory Initiative" - a partnership initiative with LitWorld International and Global Girls Leading Our World.

Hikmat is highly passionate about the rights of girls and women in the society. She stands firmly by her commitment to establish an equal society, towards redefining and and developing her community and nation at large. Her organization provides a platform to discover and nurture the next generation of women leaders in diverse fields. Their engagements have opened several doors of opportunities and access to membership of organizations such as The Moremi Leadership Institute, The Young Women in Leadership Program, and The Pan African Youth Leadership Program among others.

Through the League of Young Female Leaders, hundreds of girls are benefiting from a mentoring program which provides a unique peer and inter-generational mentorship. Mentors are recruited based on their commitment to girls’ empowerment and are mostly students in tertiary institutions or professionals working across various sectors. In addition, the organization's literacy development program (The League LitClubs) is run in partnership with LitWorld International and Global Girls Leading Our World. LitClubs offer members a safe space to explore their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills, with the guided mentorship of a LitClub Leader. The clubs are aimed at cultivating strong, self-confident, and hopeful community leaders who believe in the power of story telling to change the world. The organization currently has five (5) litclubs in five (5) different Junior High Schools across Ghana, with a total of 100 girls.

On the advocacy front, the organization’s current focus is on child marriage. Both traditional and social media are used to create awareness on the issue and community leaders are called to action to prioritize girls’ education and advancement. The League of Young Female Leaders is also in partnership with other local and global organizations, in order to create a common voice against child marriage and share best practices.

For her immense contribution in leading change as a young leader, Ms. Baba Dua has been recognized across several platforms. She was recognized as the 2015 Advocate of the Year by the Africa Youth Awards and was also named among Junior Chamber International (JCI) Ghana Ten Outstanding Young Persons in Ghana, receiving the award for Personal Accomplishment and Achievement. She
is a 2015 Mandela Washington Fellow (Civic Leadership Track) and a 2015 fellow of the Vital Voices Leadership Program - a program that supports a global network of emerging and established women leaders who provide sustainable solutions to pressing problems that have impeded women and girls’progress. In addition, Ms. Baba Dua is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper specifically associated with the Tamale Hub. 

In 2014, she was appointed as a Global Youth Ambassador by "A World at School" - the global initiative by Sarah Brown, Gordon Brown and Ban Ki Moon to deliver education and learning to the children missing out on education all over the world. She also represented Djibouti at the Ghana International Model United Nations where she served on the UNICEF Committee. Ms. Baba Dua was named among the 27 under 25 most promising women leaders on the continent of Africa by the Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership in Africa in 2013. In the same year, she represented Ghana at the 4th Global Entrepreneurship Summit and at the Global Startup Youth Boot Camp, as a domain expert in women’s empowerment in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Currently, Hikmat is a Women Deliver Young Leader - one of the 200 outstanding global youth advocates for the health, rights and well being of women and girls.

Ms. Baba Dua holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Sociology and Social Work (major) and Political Science (minor) from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana. As an undergraduate, she served as Deputy Speaker of the Students’ Parliament and was named the 2012 Personality of the Year at the Vice Chancellor’s Excellence Awards. 

Hikmat Baba Dua is a proud feminist and believes that feminism is not a game of egos but an objection to pretense; the essence of human dignity seeking equality and equity - not validation. For this reason, she does not live by the dictates of patriarchy. She believes that the injustices against the world’s women must be someone’s priority. To Hikmat, feminism matters, because it is a reawakening of the struggle to create a balanced society - a just and progressive society that gives a voice, a dream and a purposeful life to every female and every male.

Girl Pride Circle is very proud of Ms Hikmat Baba Dua for her consistent efforts in delivering for women and girls. We wish her only the best, going forward.

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