Women in Politics: A tale of two stories | Napaga Tia (NPP) and Mrs. Hamida (NDC)

 

The struggle to get women in politics is on the rise. There are a lot of campaigns from civil societies and women themselves to be heard.

Though there are still challenges in the process, quite a number of women are coming out while others are also shunning away from the task due to the fact that, they are shy or afraid of being teased as incapable.

The first time I heard Madam Hamidatu Abdul Rahman communicate for the National Democratic Congress on the radio was somewhere in June on radio Justice. They paired her with Mohammed Abdul Razak Wunpini of the New Patriotic Party. She quickly captured me with her eloquent submission.

I have monitored her radio discussion and how she is able to deal with chauvinists is breath-taking. For instance, when King Faisal Yajara of the NPP tried to play the female card saying she is a woman so he would not go hard on her. Madam Hamida called him out for his male chauvinism and told him not to patronize her because of her gender. She is someone you cannot bully on Radio.

When you try to pull any surprise, you might be the one to get the surprise of your life, and one example who suffered this is Alhassan Lord of Tamale North Constituency Secretary for the NPP suffered. While he wanted to bully her, thinking Madam Hamida is just a woman he could walk over, the story went the other way. He nearly cried on a live radio discussion on Radio Justice.

But it seems the northern regional NDC executive of the party has not fully acknowledged the kind of gem they have in their party. Just like Sammy Gyamfi, she could be the female version or even surpass what Gyamfi is doing. The wonders she can do by communicating the party’s ideologies to the public and attracting more followers can be a game-changer if empowered.

Rahamatu-Lahi Zakaria || Sanatu Zambang Editor

She has always been vocal and participated in the internal politics of the party. In the 2009 NDC administration, she showed interest in District Chief Executive for her home town.

‘’I had graduated from the university and I had a conversation with someone at the national executive and he said there is nothing wrong with me being the District Chief Executive at 26, so I should go and file for it. That was in 2009. Yes, I came around and I got the support. You know this part of our country; the young people are supposed to be holding the bags of our elders. I came and I was part of them going through the vetting, nobody discouraged me. I was rather encouraged and after the vetting, I emerge as the third person unfortunately, I did not go through. I got the encouragement to push on.’’

Mrs. Hamidatu Abdul Rahman

I think there is often a misunderstanding when we talk about gender issues. There is this kind of personalization of issues that I think does a disservice to it. We are talking about systems here, it is not about men doing something. It s about the system in place.

When we talk of the patriarchal system some of the most ardent supporters, most of the ardent defenders of patriarchal systems are women ”

Dr Umar MF

Clara Napaga Tia Sulemana is a Ghanaian politician and a presidential staffer of the Nana Akufo-Addo led government. Napaga had her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Integrated Development Studies with a focus on social, political, and historical studies from the University for Development Studies Upon completion of her undergraduate study, She started her journey in politics as a campaign aide to the New Patriotic Party. 

When we won the 2016 elections, “the president said to me Napaga, you are the youngest among my aids, so you will be kept at the presidency to undergo training. Is that okay with you?

I said yes sir. It is a very big privilege to undergo this training with the president and the first female chief of staff of the republic. It is a training I wouldn’t trade it for any position even for a ministerial position.

Nana Addo is a father, a listening father, a father who is not judgemental. He sees potential in you and he picks you up. There are times you really feel down and you talk to him and then you come out fully motivated ”

Napaga Tia Sulemana

Spaking on Sanatu Zambang Podcast, Napaga described Nana Addo as a father, a listening father, a father who is not judgemental. He sees potential in you and he picks you up. There are times you really feel down and you talk to him and then you come out fully motivated.

Napaga didn’t attend kindergarten, she started at primary 1 in Zoosali. During that time Zoosali didn’t have kindergarten. Since 2016, Napaga has visited her colleagues and families in Zoosali, whom she schooled during her childhood days, since they weren’t privileged enough to continue, Napaga comes back to motivate them and tell them that it’s never too late, and if they couldn’t do it, their children can do it, thanks to the Free SHS.

Playing a gender card in politics is dangerous. We have only 10% of men in this country who really believe a woman can lead. The rest are just chanting the name “Gender” for their own selfish interest.

UDS first female SRC President (Zeinab Denderi)

Women in politics seem to be on the rise but the story is different in the northern region and the recently held district assembly elections are proof of that. The numbers are dwindling. We have moved from 18% to 7% of women representation at the district assemblies. There are a lot of factors that seem to hinder the participation of women in politics in this part of the country that we find ourselves. 

‘’ Sometimes we need to look at the environment. It is not just about putting the woman there. You want to help a woman. But you put her in a position where the executive committee members are all men and the woman is in the center. If there are five men in the executive committee and none of them believe women can do. What do you think will happen, either she will be overshadowed or tagged?

Hajia Hafsat Sey Sumani

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One-on-one with presidential staffer; Clara Napaga Tia Sulemana