Home / Bagbin’s ‘EC job too rough for women’ comment “appalling”; withdraw, apologise! – NETRIGHT

Bagbin’s ‘EC job too rough for women’ comment “appalling”; withdraw, apologise! – NETRIGHT

Network for Women’s Rights in Ghana (NETRIGHT), has said comments by Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, that the Electoral Commission Chair job is “too rough” for women, is chauvinistic.

Mr Bagbin, who aims to be the next flag bearer of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) made the comment during an interview with Moro Awudu on Thursday, 26 July.

According to him, the fact that the dismissed chair of the EC, Mrs Charlotte Osei, is a woman, does not mean her replacement ought to have been a another woman.

Mr Bagbin argued that the criticism that comes with that office usually discourages other women from picking up political appointment, hence, wanted a man to fill that role.

Ghana’s longest-serving lawmaker told the Executive Breakfast Show on Class91.3FM that: “I don’t think because the outgone [EC Chair] was a lady, the incoming must also be a lady. That turf is too rough for a lady. Our ladies are doing well, they are tough, but I don’t think we should be risking them that much. We want to have many more ladies encouraged to enter politics, but when they see some of their role models that are destroyed like that because they’ve been giving such a risky job, they are discouraged from getting into politics.”

The Nadowli-Kaleo MP advised the new EC Chair nominee, Mrs Jean Adukwei Mensa, to reject the appointment.

“If you ask Mrs Charlotte Osei, she will tell you that I advised her not to accept that position. I told her I’ve been in the game and I know it and I told her that if she had another option like going to the Supreme Court, she should rather accept that, but she told me candidly, as for her, she is available to serve the nation in any capacity and she got there and these are the results. It’s the same advice I’ll give to Jean Adukwei Mensa. If she also decides to risk it, so be it”, the flag bearer-hopeful of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) said.

President Nana Akufo-Addo, on Monday, 23 July 2018, named Mrs Mensa who is the Executive Director of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), as the new Chair to replace Mrs Charlotte Osei, whom he sacked along with her two deputies Amadu Sulley and Georgina Opoku Amankwah, over procurement breaches and incompetence, per the recommendations of a committee set up by Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo to probe the three commissioners.

However, a statement signed by Pauline Vande-Pallen, Convenor for NETRIGHT, said: “Ghanaian women have excelled in many fields and decision-making spaces and it is appalling and unacceptable that, as a leader and legislator, rather than encouraging women to build on these successes, you seek to limit the heights that women can go and the offices that we can occupy because of the ‘stress’ the spaces/position may have on women.

“Your utterances seek to promote the negative societal perceptions of women being subordinates of men in all spheres of life.

“The Women’s Movement in Ghana is extremely disappointed at your utterances, and, thus, demands an immediate withdrawal of your statement and an apology to Ghanaian women as well as share with us steps you intend to take to ensure the effect of your utterances on women occupying certain positions is eventually and effectively dispelled”.

Below is the full statement from NETRIGHT:

27th July, 2018

An Open letter to the 2nd Deputy Speaker of Parliament Hon. Alban Bagbin

Dear Honorable Alban Bagbin,

RE: EC Chair job “too rough” for women

This morning media houses broadcast/published views that you shared in an interview on the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Class 91.3FM on Thursday, 26th July, 2018 on the position of the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission and your belief that the job was in your words “too rough for women”.

After a week in which the issue of violence against women and the abuse of authority – reference the Midland Savings and Loans Limited incident – has been highlighted, we receive your words with utmost shock!!

While these are two very different instances, the fact is, that even as the Affirmative Action Bill and the Land Bill, 2018 (with specific gender provisions) are coming before Parliament seeking to ensure that women’s rights are protected socially, economically and politically, it is disturbing to hear from a member of the leadership of Parliament that some occupations are considered beyond the remit of women.

Dear 2nd Deputy Speaker – Hon. Bagbin, the Women’s Movement of Ghana would like to know why you could conveniently say the job of EC Chair is too “rough” for a woman. What genetically makes heading the EC a task that women cannot handle?

The Women’s Movement has been challenging the paternalistic subjugation of women; especially in the governance and decision making spaces for years, and to hear a high-level political figure in Ghana’s Parliament say: “…I don’t think we should be risking them that much”; we would be glad if you can expatiate on the spaces and positions you think women should aspire to be safe from risk?

Ghanaian women have excelled in many fields and decision-making spaces and it is appalling and unacceptable that as a leader and legislator, rather than encouraging women to build on these successes, you seek to limit the heights that women can go and the offices that we can occupy because of the ‘stress’ the spaces/position may have on women. Your utterances seek to promote the negative societal perceptions of women being subordinates of men in all spheres of life.

The Women’s Movement in Ghana is extremely disappointed at your utterances and thus demands an immediate withdrawal of your statement and an apology to Ghanaian women as well as share with us steps you intend to take to ensure the effect of your utterance on women occupying certain positions is eventually and effectively dispelled.

We look forward to you showing us the leadership we expect from our political leaders.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

On behalf of Network for Women’s Rights in Ghana (NETRIGHT)

Signed

Pauline Vande-Pallen
Convenor


Source/Ghana/ClassFMonline.com

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