General News of Wed, 1 Aug 20185

I don't buy Bagbin's 'EC job too rough for women' comment – Addae-Mensah

Former Vice-Chancellor of University of Ghana, Professor Ivan Addae-Mensah, has disagreed with Second Deputy Speaker Alban Bagbin that the Electoral Commission Chair job is “too rough for women”, and, thus, President Nana Akufo-Addo’s nominee, Jean Mensa, must reject it.

“Why should people say that it is a job for only a man”, Prof. Addae-Mensah wondered, saying: “I have been part of the presidential debate system for years, so, I know her [Jean Mensa], I know her calibre but it’s not for me to predict”.

“You know I have no reason to think she will not be able to do the job; that one I don’t buy it. What do people mean it’s not a job for a woman?”

“Are they trying to say we cannot have tough women in this country? That one I won’t buy it. I will never buy it. Character is more important than the sex of a person. If you’re strong, if you’re honest, if you’re sincere, no matter what your gender, you should be able to do any job”, he told Emefa Apawu of Accra-based Joy FM.

In Mr Bagbin’s view, the fact that the dismissed Chair of the EC, Mrs Charlotte Osei is a woman, does not mean her replacement ought to have been a another woman.


Mr Bagbin argued that the criticism that comes with that office usually discourages other women from picking up political appointment, hence, wanted a man to fill that role.

Speaking on the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Class91.3FM on Thursday, 26 July 2018, Ghana’s longest-serving lawmaker told show host Moro Awudu that: “I don’t think because the outgone [EC Chair] was a lady, the incoming must also be a lady. That turf is too rough for a lady. Our ladies are doing well, they are tough, but I don’t think we should be risking them that much. We want to have many more ladies encouraged to enter politics, but when they see some of their role models that are destroyed like that because they’ve been giving such a risky job, they are discouraged from getting into politics.”

The Nadowli-Kaleo MP advised the new EC Chair nominee, Mrs Jean Adukwei Mensa, to reject the appointment.

“If you ask Mrs Charlotte Osei, she will tell you that I advised her not to accept that position. I told her I’ve been in the game and I know it and I told her that if she had another option like going to the Supreme Court, she should rather accept that, but she told me candidly, as for her, she is available to serve the nation in any capacity and she got there and these are the results. It’s the same advice I’ll give to Jean Adukwei Mensa. If she also decides to risk it, so be it”, the flag bearer-hopeful of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) said.


President Nana Akufo-Addo, on Monday, 23 July 2018, named Mrs Mensa who is the Executive Director of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), as the new Chair to replace Mrs Charlotte Osei, whom he sacked along with her two deputies Amadu Sulley and Georgina Opoku Amankwah, over procurement breaches and incompetence, per the recommendations of a committee set up by Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo to probe the three commissioners.

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