A security analyst, Professor Kwesi Aning, has complained strongly about the demonisation of women in politics.
Speaking at the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers’ (CODEO) post-election review workshop on Tuesday morning, he said it is disturbing that women in the political space are constantly subjected to severe verbal and psychological abuse.
Professor Kwesi Aning, who is also the Director of Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, said: “Women politicians walk a very thin line and negotiate to the extremes of being tagged as authoritative and likeable, strong but not aggressive, and then serious but not bold. But then we need to be aware of the patriarchal systems these women operate in.”
“Some of these women are tagged as prostitutes, others are abused for not being married, and are tagged as immature and bad homemakers. Some have even been tagged as occultists. The perception that men are doing women a favour by allowing them into politics must be dismissed and treated with the contempt that it deserves.”
Research conducted in 2018 by the International Republican Institute (IRI) on women’s participation in politics in Ghana revealed that most women refuse to contest political positions for fear of insults and being tagged as prostitutes.
Mrs. Hellen Muchunu of IRI, presenting the findings, noted that some respondents said negative societal perceptions about women politicians often discouraged them from actively engaging in political party activities.
The findings were based on responses from focus group discussions and individual interviews with women in politics, including members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) from Accra, Kumasi, and Tamale.