‘Stop the needless attacks on Prof. Ayensu-Danquah’
A group of traditional women leaders have taken some political actors and social media users to the cleaners for their constant attacks on the parliamentary candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for the Essikado-Ketan Constituency in the Western Region, Prof. Dr. Grace Ayensu-Danquah.
Addressing a cross-section of media practitioners at Amanokrom in the Eastern Region on Sunday, the spokesperson for the group, Nana Abena Akonobea I, Amanokrom Prabrom Nkosohemaa, disclosed that socio-cultural beliefs have been a major hindrance to women’s participation in leadership positions, despite their capabilities and qualifications.
She further mentioned that among other major obstacles to women’s political participation in Ghana is the culture of contempt, insults and passing of degrading comments against female political aspirants and politicians.
The traditional women leaders’ caution comes after some political actors and social media users described Dr. Grace Ayensu-Danquah, who is a General Surgeon in San Diego, California, as tribalistic and racist.
One of the activists, who uses the social media account name Collins Saah, allegedly accused the NDC parliamentary candidate of questioning the royal lineage of Joe Ghartey, who is the Minister for Railways Development.
According to one of the posts made by Collins Saah on his facebook wall under the headline “The unfortunate comment from a Professor,” read: “The tribalism and racist campaign message of Grace Ayensu-Dankwa.”
He continued: “Grace Ayensu-Danquah’s campaign message that Joe Ghartey is not from the Essikado Royal family so he doesn’t deserve to be a Member of Parliament. Grace, I want to remind you, if you have forgotten so soon that nepotism, tribalism, racism, cronyism, are all forms of corruption.”
Per your campaign message, it is not in error to deduce that you are a corrupt professor, and all the inhabitants of Essikado-Ketan who are not from the royal class and hail from elsewhere do not deserve to rise to the top.
The above allegations and post have been denied by Professor Grace Ayensu-Danquah.
According to the Queenmother, the attacks on women who seek political office are gradually becoming a culture that has for long sought to downgrade women’s worth and dignity, so as to keep them perpetually marginalised and subordinated in society.
She cited the attacks on the former and current Electoral Commission (EC) Chairpersons, Charlotte Osei and Jean Mensah, as evidence of these unacceptable acts, adding that it’s very sad seeing people lambasting women who are in high positions.
The Amanokrom Prabrom Nkosohemaa described such actions as cruel, shameful and a sheer abuse of a woman’s fundamental human rights, and are meant to derail women’s efforts to eliminate gender inequality in politics, and our society in general.
Although socio-cultural beliefs and practices are often blamed for barring women to access leadership positions, there are also some contemporary hurdles like illiteracy, lack of deliberate empowerment, and lack of confidence on the part of women to take up challenge.
Nana Abena Akonobea I of Amanokrom Pradrom Nkosohemaa has, therefore, called on Collins Saah to immediately retract his false statement, and also apologise to Dr. Grace Ayensu-Danquah.