Editorial : Halt the insults and debate policies
With barely six months to the 2020 general elections, political activities have partially started picking up inspite of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) threat.
Last month, the ruling party out-doored Nana Akufo-Addo as its flagbearer, while he also nominated his all-time best partner, Dr Bawumia, as his running mate.
Last week, the flagbearer of the largest opposition party, National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr John Dramani Mahama, finally picked his former appointee, Prof Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, as his running mate.
This settled months of speculations and nervousness as to who was going to partner the former president as his running mate.
Following the announcement of Mr Mahama’s choice of the former Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast as his running mate, the political atmosphere was charged
As to be expected, many NDC followers jubilated over the announcement, while the New Patriotic Party (NPP), on the other hand, quickly switched to a fault-finding mission
While the NDC sang praises and extolled the credentials of the venerable professor, including being the first woman to have served in a public university in Ghana as a Vice Chancellor (VC), the NPP reminded Ghanaians about the role she played as Education Minister.
According to the NPP, the allowances of nursing and teacher trainees were cancelled during her tenure as Minister of Education.
This healthy debate that characterised the nomination of the astute scholar seems to be getting dirty, as it is gradually moving from debate on track records to character assassination and trading of insults.
Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang has come under a barrage of attacks that do not have any direct or indirect correlation with her public life.
Some have already questioned how a woman could become the vice president in the event that the NDC wins the general elections.
Others have ignorantly lambasted the learned professor with unprintable words.
We, at The Chronicle, find this development very disturbing, and, therefore, want to associate ourselves with many well-meaning Ghanaians who have condemned this barbaric development.
It is worth mentioning that the majority of Ghanaians are females, but in terms of policy and decision making, their voices are hardly heard
It is in view of this worrying trend that women are being encouraged and supported in all spheres of our endeavours to take up their rightful positions in the development of the country
We, are therefore, highly alarmed by this development, happening at this period of our democratic dispensation, because they are affronts to inclusive and participatory democracy
Already, socio-cultural dynamics and other forms of discriminatory practices have adversely affected many Ghanaian women in their quest to play frontline roles in our body politic.
Without any shade of doubt, we want to believe that irresponsible behaviours such as describing intelligent and industrious women as whores and other names could be some of the reasons.
It is in the light of these man-made obstacles that many competent and highly qualified women have been driven away from being politically active.
Mr Kwegyir Aggrey’s centuries old adage that: “If you educate a woman, you educate a nation,” is still relevant in today’s generation.
We, therefore, wish to call on politicians to, as a matter of urgency, focus their attention on formulating policies that would rather empower women
These are some of the things needed in modern day participatory democracy, but not the use of abusive language on women, as though they are not qualified to participate in politics.
Political communicators must also be trained by their parties on how they could effectively communicate and debate policies, instead of spewing insults
Ghanaian women deserve better from our politicians than the use of abusive words that seem to denigrate them and also kill their aspirations.