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General News Thu, 15 Nov 2001

Drama In Parliament Over "HouseWife" Definition

There was drama in the Parliament when two parliamentarians engaged each other in a verbal war over the definition of the word “housewife”. Senior Minister and NPP MP for Sunyani East, J. H. Mensah turned the debate wheel on when he introduced the terminology in his contribution to a motion for the endorsement of the mid-year review of the 2001 budget and financial policy of government.

Responding to the Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Moses Asaga’s criticism of the mid year review of the economy, the Senior Minister noted that it is only Housewives who could really tell whether prices had gone up or not since they go to market daily. His assertion drew a sharp criticism from NDC MP for Gomoa West, Mrs. Ama Benyiwa Doe.

A Ghana News Agency report quoted her as saying that “although I am a housewife, I am yet to feel the improvement of the economy in my day to day trading.” However, the Deputy Minister for Finance, Mrs. Grace Coleman challenged Mrs. Doe’s eligibility as a house wife since according to her, a housewife should necessarily have a husband and be confined to her household most of the time.

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This did not go down well with Mrs. Ama Benyiwa Doe who protested after engaging the Deputy Minister in an argument that the definition sought to ridicule her. She contended that since she was a mother and took care of her household, she was a housewife.

The Speaker, Peter Ala Adjetey, intervened and asked Mr. Mensah for his views on the matter but he said: "The Housewife issue is a big one. These are secrets of the woman's world in which we humble men dare not enter."

The Minority Chief Whip, Doe Adjaho stepped in and called on Mrs Coleman to withdraw her definition. Mrs Grace Coleman withdrew and apologised saying "I did not under circumstances want to impugn misconduct on the member.”

Source: Joy Online
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