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Opinions Fri, 7 Jun 2019

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How Akufo-Addo killed the spirit, soul of gender empowerment activism in Ghana

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I was elated when the President of our beloved country was given the opportunity to showcase the progress of Ghana on women empowerment.

My happiness reached its crescendo when I recalled that he is a father of five strong ladies and said to myself; Yes our time has come for the President to say something to the world about our giant strides and say something to motivate the upcoming ones who see women like Prof. Henrietta Mensah Bonsu, Prof. Efua Sutherland, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku Agyeman, Hon. Marietta Brew Oppong, Hon. Hannah Tetteh, Madam Joyce Aryee, Patricia Obo Nai, just to mention a few role models.

My elation though, like effects of opium, was short lived when the President failed to appreciate that, despite some structurally challenging systemic obstacles put in place, some of our women are doing great instead of being vilified that they need to earn their places in society as if they’re sitting idle begging for favours.

It’s unfortunate that our President couldn’t elevate us on the international platform given the fact that women voted massively for him in our last general elections.

His comment about women in power is reckless and misguided. Could this be the reason why the President has ignored or seem to care less about the whereabouts of the kidnapped Takoradi girls? Perhaps they should earn their freedom from their captors????????????! Could his so called 30% appointment of women into his cabinet be one of the hoaxes to be blamed on others who misled him with fictitious figures when scrutinised further?

I join my sisters in full solidarity in their desire to ensure that our President understand that, we have competent women who are able to make and take good decisions. We have women who have contributed immensely to efforts aimed at bringing our statehood to where it is today.

The recent appointment of some illustrious Ghanaian women on the international front affirm the giant strides Ghanaian women are making. We would want to call on the President to consciously, as a father of five ladies and father of a nation with 52% female population to ensure that systemic and structural challenges that impede progress of women in attaining higher heights are removed through legislation and enforcement. The justice system should be made fair to women and men alike. He should ensure women are incentivised and given fair and equal playing ground in academia, industry etc.



Many young girls are being harassed and some who are to be promoted sometimes have their promotion delayed because some of these people have no voice.

Mr President, these challenges are real and I hope you will open your eyes to these realities. We the women in Ghana will need a dinner with you to appraise you on the challenges on the ground when you return.

Mr President, with the greatest of respect, if the women in your party are not competent enough to earn appointments in your government, kindly widen the net to attract competent women of all political persuasion to drive the women agenda and the nation forward. The Ghanaian lady is capable. Yes we can!!! We need a father who knows that there are real issues confronting the empowerment agenda!

Columnist: Abena Ehun

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