The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, says President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s recent comment on gender parity at the 2019 Women Deliver Conference in Vancouver, Canada, has been misconstrued.
According to him, the President only sought to make a point about the need for women to step up and forcefully fight for what matters most to them.
President Akufo-Addo at the conference among other things suggested that not enough movement is being made by women to take up key positions in governance; and that although 30 per cent of his cabinet are women, they are not seeing enough dynamism and activism from the women.
But the President’s comment has not been welcomed by women activists who feel that he has not taken notice of what they have been doing over the years to push for women empowerment.
Speaking on Accra-based Citi FM Thursday morning, the Information Minister, Mr Oppong-Nkrumah defended the President saying that his commitment to gender parity cannot be questioned.
He also disclosed that in a build-up to the 2008 general elections, President Akufo-Addo, as a result of his commitment to promoting the interest of women in the country, first considered a woman [Hajia Alima Mahama] for the position of Vice-Presidential candidate.
“The President has been one of our strongest champions for gender parity in our public life. In 2008 when he was selecting a Vice-Presidential candidate, his first choice was a woman. In 2012 he was the one who argued that women potential candidates in the NPP should be protected and should be given less of a fee to pay when they contest. He has been the President who has appointed the largest number of women in his administration, the numbers are all there. His commitment to gender parity is not in question,” the Information Minister argued.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah who is also a Member of Parliament for Ofoase-Ayirebi in the Eastern Region, also explained that the President’s comment did not seek to discredit the efforts made by women.
“What people seek to do is to draw the President into a conversation of should it be the empowerment of women amplification. The President makes the point that [with regards to] empowerment and amplification, he has seen it all and he has done it all and even currently and even going beyond that to ensure that specific initiatives are put in place to build up a young girl child upwards.
“But one of the things he sees missing is to see a lot more dynamism in the fight, dynamism demonstrated by the women themselves, that the women themselves need to forcefully put up the fight where it matters most. A lot is being done now; he is not saying all is useless or not important? But we need to see more women to put themselves u,” he added.