Up you women, you can achieve what you will!

Sat, 11 Apr 2015 Source: Mohammed, Inusah

I read with profound interest and fervid admiration the piece published in the Daily Graphic of Wednesday, 11th March, 2015 with the caption With women, we flatter to deceive written by Elizabeth Ohene, a woman that has marvelled this country with the heights she had risen to. My understanding of the piece is that our setting of the world is designed in such a way that a woman rising to a position of repute is treated as one of the rarities and oddities of life. The piece stroke a chord within me because of all the explanations given to hardwork and diligence of women who brave all odds to “make a dent” in the universe in our part of the world, adultery and favour from pleasure of flesh is the most used.

In the early nineties, we saw how a woman who fought hard for the liberation of Mandela and an end to the ignoble Apartheid system, Winnie Madikizela Mandela, was vilified and accused of going out with men as young as her age as the lawyer Dali Mpofu. This scathing accusation made her marriage fall like a pack of cards despite the travails she went through after waiting a score and seven years for an incarcerated Mandela.

In a like manner, a spurious and complete falsehood was canalized through the media that Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first woman President in Africa, was being laid by her young ministers.

On our local scene, this phenomenon showed its ugly face in a significant style and fashion. It was significant because it proved that “the only way to silence your critic is through your performance.” Madam Patricia Appiagyei was appointed by President Kufuor to replace Maxwell Kofi Jumah as the mayor of Kumasi. He later became the Member of Parliament for Asokwa Constituency in the Ashanti Region. In 2012, Madam Appiagyei expressed her desire to contest him in the primaries. When he was interviewed on that, he made a statement that not only put the woman in a bad light, but ignited the flame in women in that region to the extent that they threatened a naked demonstration if he did not retract and apologize. He stated that if she got the position of mayor from sexual favours, she should not think she could unseat him now. That indeed was an extreme form of verbal barbarity. Madam Appiagyei won him and further sunk his name into the darkest bowls of history. Women therefore should take a cue from Madam Patricia.

No one can empower you than your very self. All over the world, women have proven times without number that when given a ground devoid of any prejudice, they could also change the cause of history just as men.

It was a woman who braved all the odds and started preparing the grounds for the liberation of blacks from the clutches and manacles of slavery. Harriet Tubman as she was called later came to be known as the “Moses of slavery” due to the significant strides she made in the emancipation of a considerable number of slaves.

No one can talk about the civil rights struggle of America without mentioning Rosa Parks. Rosa Parks defied that odious order to vacate her seat for a white person on the bus just because she was black. This singular act culminated in the Montgomery Bus Boycott which set off a chain reaction that led to the current level of sanity in the United States of America.

Susan B. Anthony led the campaign on woman’s right to suffrage when it was a crime for a woman to give her conviction in choosing of leaders through the ballot.

The glade then is well-screened for women to rise from the bowliness and unleash the glory of the Lord in them. The subjugation of women must stop. And this stoppage must begin from women themselves. Self-empowerment is key and vital to the survival of womanhood, one of the finest creation of God.

A woman that is shaking the foundation of democracy in Africa is the South African Speaker of Parliament who doubles as the Chairperson of the oldest and most powerful political party in Africa, African National Congress, Baleka Mbete. She really brings a fit of tranquillity in a chaotic parliament as that of South Africa. Women have the knack to see where trouble looms and how to curb it. It is therefore not surprising when she stated;

“There’s a list that ought to be going to the Pan-African Parliament so that the leaders of our continent can see the issues that continue to be a big blot on progress. We shouldn’t fool ourselves because many of the leaders don’t want that. They are about having an easy ride and continuing to enjoy themselves.”

Up you women, you can achieve what you will!

Inusah Mohammed

NB: The writer is a National Service Person at the Graphic Communications Group Limited.

Columnist: Mohammed, Inusah