Thursday, 22 September 2016

Women Empowerment

Not too long ago, The people of South Africa celebrated the 60th anniversary of the march of women against apartheid.

This is quite significant because it showed the contribution of women to the attainment of freedom for the people of South Africa.

The history of Ghana makes us understand how a brave woman; Yaa Asantewaa, the queen mother of Ejisu, led the people of the Ashanti kingdom in their resistance against the British colonisers, and the protection of what is important to their kingdom; The golden stool.

This reiterates the fact that women, directly or indirectly, have played and continue to play major roles in the success story of communities, countries and the world at large.

What is however baffling is why women are considered second fidel in society, particularly in our part of the world.

Women, when given the chance, can deliver just as men do. For example, in 2009, Ghana, for the first time, had a female speaker of Parliament, Mrs. Joyce Bamford-Addo.

It is without doubt that she performed as equally good as the male speakers, or even better than some of them.

It is regrettable that, a woman in a position of authority, whether in business or politics, is seen as having traded her way to the top.

Must that always be the assumption? The question is; what are our leaders doing to encourage and motivate women to take up sensitive positions to also contribute to the development of the nation? Women are capable of being at the helm of affairs.

Indeed, women are able and capable of leading big businesses, and even nations.

That is why the Progressive Peoples Party led by Dr. Papa Kwesi Ndoum needs commendation for his unflinching confidence in Ghanaian women.

On two successive occasions, the party appointed a female running mate. Many women have demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that they have what it takes to deliver when given the opportunity.

This is evidenced in the works of Chief Justice, Mrs Georgina Theodora Wood, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mrs. Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong and EC Chairperson Charlotte Osei.

These are just a few examples among thousands of women who are working hard to contribute their quota to the development of the nation.

It is therefore in the right direction for a country like Ghana, which has more females than males to have an Affirmative Action policy.

It is refreshing to hear the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur, expressed her confidence that an Affirmative Action Bill will be passed before the end of the year by Parliament.But what happens after its passage?

Ghana is known for having good laws, but in some cases, lacks the courage to implement them.

The Affirmative Action bill, when passed into law should not be treated like one of those laws which are hardly implemented, but rather be treated as a matter of priority.

Let us give our women the roles without exacting favours, whether in kind or cash, from them.

We must encourage them with our words and our resources Let us also provide them a conducive atmosphere to operate so that at the end we can produce our own Margaret Thatchers, Theresa Mary Mays and Hilary Clintons.

BY GIDEON ASIGBE STUDENT(UPSA)

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