After the largest opposition party in the country named a woman as a vice presidential candidate, there has been a lot of debate as to whether Ghana is ready for a female to occupy such position from both sexes.
Some believe we are not ready which I believe is a misogynistic comment to make in the first place. It not about the gender of the person but the capability of that person.
Sanatu Zambang Talking Politics and Policies program brought in Hajia Hafsat Sey Sumani a gender activist, Hajia Rabi from the new patriotic party and Hamidatu Abdul Rahman from the national democratic congress to talk about women participation in politics, how we can increase the number and the barriers that hinder women from getting into politics.
Hajia Hafsat was of the view that men are afraid to lose certain powers because of their perceptions. Hence, by empowering women to take up leadership roles means, they are given up on their powers.
” if you put a woman there is not like she cannot deliver but the ascension things will not run the way we feel, not because the woman is not competent but I think there is that perception and even in our household those perceptions are there, the perception of fear of losing certain powers and for me, that is what I hold.”Hajia Hafsatu Sey Sumani
In another breadth, Madam Hamidatu had this to say about factors that pull women down from attaining a high position in their political careers in relation to men
“Because they are men and have that stick between their legs they are superior.
That chauvinism must come to an end but you know why chauvinism plays so well, it is because we ourselves, we do not believe in ourselves. Before someone will bring you down it is your own colleagues that bring you down.”
”She will not perform we know her, she is a prostitute and there are men who sleep with more than four women in a day and they are in positions of power. It is us who must support one another to break the myth” she added.
Still, on the barriers that hinder women in actively participating in politics, Hajia Rabi blamed it on the way we practice our culture and religion. ‘Culture and diluted religion have come to put us at the back”
According to Hajia Rabi, people have deliberately changed or twisted our culture and religion to suit their parochial needs.
This change has relegated women to be at the back and if you there come out to lead, they tag you in a negative way like you want to challenge an age-long belief which they invented.
In conclusion, Hajia Rabi advised young women who are to start a family to let their partner and his family understand their work especially their partner.
” If you are marrying a man who doesn’t share your philosophy try to communicate, try to get him conscientize, to understand how the politics operate. With the little I know, most women do not really communicate with their spouses and what worked very well for some of us is that I always try as much as possible to tell him what the outcome might look like”.Hajia Rabiat Suglo
While at it, she called on women on both sides to be each other keeper ” I owe sister Hamida advise and she also owes me an advise if we want to move this movement”Hajia Rabiat Suglo
Hajia Hafsat also campaigned for support for women vying for positions
”I want us to all rally as women to support all women into power. what can we do to let women go there unless we burn certain rules! Where ever you are, shine there and pull others along”.Hajia Hafsatu Sey Sumani
Madam Hamidatu ended the talk with this saying
” We as women should wake up from our slumber. We are sleeping. You must struggle and let them believe in you. It is the perseverance and what you want to do that will take you there.”Madam Hamidatu