Sydney Casely-Hayford says he is more concerned with the quality of women representation in governance that the quantity amid the recent debate around gender parity in Ghana.
The OccupyGhana member argued this puts the women in a better position to effect change though activists maintain that a level playing field is more critical to ensuring gender parity.
[contextly_sidebar id=”COO6lZOZ2YOT5FpffULf5sBXgceglyqF”]When you are in that position and you can influence matters like that, you are far more important than anything else,” Mr. Casely-Hayford said on The Big Issue.
“The quality of appointments of women in our society is a far greater position than most. Our Chief Justice is a woman. Our Minister for Local Government is a Woman. The Attorney General is a woman. These are powerful positions.”
“It is about quantity all the time. It is about quality. The Quality of these women in these particular positions to effect in our society becomes the more critical thing we are dealing with.”
Mr. Casely-Hayford was speaking in relation to some of President Nana Akufo-Addo’s remarks at the 2019 Women Deliver Conference in Canada.
President Akufo-Addo faced criticism from Ghanaian feminists and gender advocates for suggesting that women were not fighting hard enough for gender parity.
Critics said the President ignored the role expected of the leaders in the male-dominated political space.
But the President received some support for his comments.
The Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama, joined a few fellow women ministers to back the President’s views on gender parity in Ghana.
On The Big Issue, she said Mr. Casley-Hayford’s comments underscored the President’s argument.
“[For] putting women our there, there is no challenger. He has put them out there and continues to do the appointments,” Hajia Alima said.
“When we say amplification, it is not just people doing it for us we should also move forward. We can’t fold our hands and sit down and say that the decision-making people should change for them. No one will open doors for you. You open the doors yourself. You break the glass ceiling and go through.”
‘Question of power’
At the annual meetings of the Commission on the Status of Women began at the United Nations in February U.N. Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres stressed that “Gender equality is fundamentally a question of power.”
He reminded that male-dominated culture has historically marginalised and silenced women.
Whilst acknowledging the mobilisation of women worldwide for gender parity, he warned that there was active resistance to change.
“That pushback is deep, pervasive and relentless. So let us say it loud and clear: We will not give ground; we will not turn back; we will push back against the pushback and we will keep pushing.”
Files from VOA contributed to this report