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Diasporian News of Friday, 10 July 2020

Source: Senyalah Castro, Contributor

NDC UK, Ireland demands apology from Buaben Asamoa for ‘sexist’ remarks


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The women’s wing of the largest opposition NDC in the United Kingdom and Ireland have asked Yaw Buaben Asamoa, the National Communications Director of the NPP, to apologise to women for his “sexist” public comments against Prof. Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang who was recently unveiled as running mate for John Dramani Mahama.

Mr. Yaw Buaben Asamoa, who doubles as Member of Parliament (MP) for the Adentan Constituency, in the past days came under severe criticism from the public and women groups for passing comments deemed unfit of his stature against the former Vice-Chancellor of University of Cape Coast at a presser by the governing party immediately after her unveiling by the former President.

Mr. Buaben Asamoa was reported to have stated among other things that, the performance of Prof. Naana Opoku-Agyemang while in office as Education Minister was not impressive and proves that she is not the best person to have been made a running mate.

“We can only conclude that the choice of Prof Jane Naana Opoku-Agyeman by Mr. John Dramani Mahama is a clear indication that he does not take the Ghanaian electorate seriously”.

“But then as our own Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has famously said, it does not matter who the running mate is, if the main man himself is indecisive and incompetent, we still have a problem. It is our view that after having looked so long and wide, the NDC still has a problem,” Mr. Asamoa noted.

But the UK and Ireland women’s wing of the NDC are not enthused by the utterances against the party stalwart, describing the statement as “insulting, denigrating and sexist which must be condemned in the strongest terms by all women and men who are above this disgraceful position by the NPP”.

In a statement signed and issued by the Women Organizer, Mary Gardiner, the party noted the invaluable contribution and role of women in national development, saying the NDC as a social democratic party believes in promoting gender equality.

It said Prof. Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang’s peerless leadership as the first female vice-chancellor of a public University in Ghana, a Minister of Education and other roles she played in helping to develop the country, placed her in a better position to merit the nomination.

See full statement below:

Women have earned their place at the decision-making table, not second fiddles in national development- NDC UK and Ireland Chapter Women Organizer to Yaw Buaben Asamoa and the NPP.

The Women’s wing of the National Democratic Congress UK and Ireland Chapter has noted with deep sadness and utter shock the remarks made by the National Communication Director of the NPP, Yaw Buaben Asamoa at a hurriedly organized press conference on the hot heels of the announcement by the NDC of Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang as a running mate to his Excellency John Dramani Mahama for the 2020 general elections.

Among other denigrating comments on the person and gender of the outstanding scholar, Yaw Buaben Asamoa is amplifying the voice of Akufo Addo and the NPP. Similar sexists’ remarks have been expressed publicly within the very top echelon of the NPP.

President Akufo Addo at an international Women conference in Canada unashamedly insulted women worldwide when he said “Women have not yet earned their place at the decision table.” Such anti- feminist and gender-discriminatory statement coming from president Akufo Addo brought international disgrace to our country.

It was so disappointing that Ursula Owusu, Akufo Addo’s own communication minister could not hold back but express her revulsion publicly when she said women have become irrelevant in the NPP. Ursula Owusu is on record to have publicly lamented that NPP hate Ghanaian women.

It is the sad truth and a reflection of what the NPP stands for. Similar misogynistic comments have been made by John Boadu, the General Secretary of the NPP, Kennedy Agyapong among others.

The National Communication Director of the NPP who is a lawyer and member of Parliament should have known better, his public comments are expected to be above reproach and inclusive. The least he can do is to promote gender balance in our society and help reduce the inequality in our country’s development and not insult women and womanhood. It is not surprising that the under representation of women in our public space has worsened under Akufo Addo in spite of making a campaign promise to give women 30% representation in his government.

Even more sad is the fact that the majority leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu has joined in such horrendous comments by saying that the venerable professor has nothing to bring to the ticket of his Excellency John Mahama. How low the leadership of our country under Akufo Addo has sunken.

The NDC has a completely different view from the NPP. The NDC as a social Democratic Party believes in promoting gender equality and meritocracy in our national development process.

Women are equal partners in our national development and not in any way subservient to their male counterparts.

Professor Naana Jane Opoku Agyemang is an accomplished mother, scholar and gender advocate. Her peerless leadership as the first female vice chancellor of a public University in Ghana, a minister of education among others place her in front of the queue for leadership based on merit.

Such discriminatory, misogynistic comments must be condemned in the strongest terms by all women and men who are above this disgraceful position by the NPP.

Without the invaluable contribution and role of women, men cannot build our country alone.

We urge the leadership of the NPP and Akufo Addo to apologize to all women for their negative public comments and disrespect to women.

Mary Gardiner Signed. Women Organizer NDC UK and Ireland Chapter

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