Ghana’s Information Minister, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah has mounted a spirited defense for President Nana Akufo-Addo following the backlash over some comments he made at the 2019 Women Deliver Conference.
President Akufo-Addo at the conference among other things said despite giving women more opportunities in his government, there was a need for more of a push from women themselves to take hold of political power where strategic decisions are taken.
According to Mr. Oppong Nkrumah, some individuals have misconstrued the President’s comment on the subject and pointed out that the President only sought to make a point about the need for women to step up their quest and forcefully put up a fight in areas of concern and where it matters most.
Speaking on the issue, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah was of the view that the President’s commitment to gender parity cannot be questioned.
He described President Akufo-Addo as one of the country’s strongest champions of gender parity.
He also disclosed that in a build-up to the 2008 general elections, President Nana Akufo-Addo, as a result of his commitment to the course of promoting the interest of women in the country first considered a woman for the position of Vice-Presidential candidate.
Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia later got the nod and the NPP went on to lose that particular election.
“The President has been one of our strongest champions for gender parity in our public life. In 2008 when he was selecting a Vice-Presidential candidate, his first choice was a woman. In 2012 he was the one who argued that women potential candidates in the NPP should be protected and should be given less of a fee to pay when they contest. He has been the President who has appointed the largest number of women in his administration, the numbers are all there. His commitment to gender parity is not in question,” the Information Minister argued.
The Member of Parliament for Ofoase-Ayirebi, also explained that the President’s comment did not seek to discredit the efforts made by women, but rather, only sort to give the impression that there are a lot more women can do.
“What people seek to do, is to draw the President into a conversation of should it be empowerment of women amplification. The President makes the point that [with regards to] empowerment and amplification, he has seen it all and he has done it all and even currently and even going beyond that to ensure that specific initiatives are put in place to build up a young girl child upwards. But one of the things he sees missing is a to see a lot more dynamism in the fight, dynamism demonstrated by the women themselves, that the women themselves need to forcefully put up the fight where it matters most.”
“A lot is being done now, he is not saying all is useless or not important? But we need to see more women to put themselves up.”
Some gender activists at the 2019 Women Deliver Conference in Canada were not enthused with President Akufo-Addo’s submission on women empowerment in Ghana.
The President at the conference had said, despite the majority being women in Ghana, not much political and social action had been witnessed in their push for greater inclusion in Ghana’s political administration.
The UN’s High Commissioner on Health Employment and Economic Growth, Dr Alaa Murabit who was also a panelist at the conference appeared unconvinced by the President’s position and resorted to interrupting the President in some instances where they disagreed.