Prez Akufo-Addo and gender activist

The Dean of the School of Information and Communications at the University of Ghana, Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, has accused President Akufo-Addo of not painting the right picture to the world when he said women constitute a 30 per cent of his cabinet.

According to Professor Gadzekpo, only 26 per cent of women forms part of the President’s cabinet, adding that if the entirety of political appointments is taken into account, the percentage would reduce to a paltry 17 per cent.

At the Women’s Deliver Conference held this week in Canada, President Akufo-Addo said as part of efforts to achieve gender equality, 30 per cent of his cabinet were women.

The president at the same conference asked women to push for greater inclusion in Ghana’s political administration because they make a greater percentage of the country’s population – 52%.

“We are not seeing enough dynamism and activism on the part of those who are seeking. I am talking about dynamism where it matters…electing people to Parliament, controlling political parties because they are the instruments by which our societies make decisions.

“We are talking about decisions, not wishes and hopes, we are talking about decisions that are going to make the difference,” President Akufo-Addo added.

But reacting to the president’s “activism and dynamism” comment on Joy FM, Prof. Audrey Gadzekpo said the President got it wrong because there has been enough evidence of activism and dynamism from women in this country.

“Nobody in this country will dispute the dynamism of our women. From the market to other spaces, women dynamism is all around us.

“Women and gender NGOs have been very dynamic. If it wasn’t for their dynamism we won’t have the Domestic Violent act for example. It was a coalition of women NGOs and male gender champions who made that happen,” the Communications professor said.

She cited the work of many other women and gender organisations, like Abantu for Development – a women-led gender agency – which put together a coalition that produced the Women’s Manifesto ( a document which clarified for women political office seekers what ought to be done to improve on the gender indicators of the country.)

“That is activism, that’s dynamism,” she said, stressing the efforts made by women NGOs to ensure those district assemblies have more women representation than there currently is.

“So by the time he says ‘people are not dynamic’, we are asking ‘what is he looking at, what is he expecting’,” Prof Gadzekpo queried.

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