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Opinions of Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Columnist: Asimenu-Forson, Kwaku

Are Ghanaian women binding or loosing?

By Kwaku Asimenu-Forson

In many Ghanaian communities, when there is a stalemate during negotiation or arbitration, permission is sought from the assemblage for ‘old lady’ to be consulted. In fact, it is often requested by the group going into caucus that we are going to consult ‘the short old lady’ and whatever she says , we shall let you(the entire gathering) know. Normally, they see no lady let alone an old one.
An elderly man explained once that the position of wisdom accorded old ladies in this manner is as a result of the wise counsel that women especially the elderly ones had provided in the past leading to the prevention of many senseless wars and hostilities. It is understandable that women would often be the ones to support and counsel in favor of peaceful co-existence because in Liberia, Somalia , Sierra Leone ect, women and their dependents suffered most. When there is war, women and children are worst affected.
In recent times however, a few incidents should call the unifying role that Ghanaian women have constantly played into question. Rather, some women in contemporary Ghana are becoming like Queen Helen, over whom the Trojan war was fought. Such women are not only becoming those who fan conflict but are actually appearing as instigators of conflict. Let’s look at a few scenarios.
The infamous or famous ‘all die be die’ comment was issued as a result of someone running through an illegal road blockade with a 4*4 vehicle injuring quite a number. This person was a woman and a key person in the ruling party. Her action led to a comment which cannot be said to be uniting. A comment which would continue to be quoted and unquoted for generations just to blame and counter blame ourselves in our quest to know who is more divisive, callous and wicked. On the day of that incident actually, I was in the company of a prominent lawyer who is a member of the main opposition party. When his phone rang, an eye witness to the event said the 4*4 had been used to crush party supporters to death. In fact two deaths were supposedly confirmed. The call came from a woman politician who was once with the NDC, left with Dr. Obed Asomah and later left again to compete for a parliamentary seat in Adentan-Madina. When she reported to this lawyer that, some NPP members had been killed, the lawyer responded that, ‘ you people should also retaliate, later we would defend in court’. In the final analysis, this event led to the ‘yen akanfuo..ect’
It is this Atiwa event that motivated a necessary or unnecessary display of bravado by an NPP lady in Odododiodio leading to a slap reportedly orchestrated by an aide to President Mills. And anytime the Ghanaian woman sows division, the male counterpart is sure to water it for growth. So one slap in Odododiodio merited the annihilation of the entire Ga people. Come to think of, Ewes were added. In fact all Voltarians be they Ewes, Guans, Ashantis (Worawora’s in Volta are Asantes) ect. Once you are a Voltarian, you qualified for extermination because a woman acting on the emotions evoked by ‘all die be die’ has been slapped in Accra. A member of Parliament was arrested for passing allegedly, genocidal comments and for once the potential for a full blown civil war was evidently palpable in the streets of the capital. A woman was leading the nation down the aisle to Armageddon . It was into this morbid atmosphere that the December 2012 election was ushered.
The mistrust was heavy, tension was thicker than November harmattan in Navrongo .My wife begged me not to travel out of the capital to the Eastern Region where I had registered to vote. I insisted and went. I stopped in a number of towns and villages on the way to talk to people and fear was like a shadow; everyone had one that afternoon. Then came the Dworwulu incident and the decisive intervention by the Peace Council. I thought Ghana had pulled through when that one was calmed amicably. So I tuned to Joy Fm. and Mr. Oppong Nkrumah et al almost rounded up their activities believing that the Caretaker president had been retained when a certain woman came on air.
It was the MP elect for Dome-Kwabenya where I live. She was happy but her voice sounded like a cured impotent man whose wife passed away just after successfully delivering a set of twins. ‘My victory is incomplete without the victory of my flagbearer,’ said she. ‘ Some votes have been stolen and I will make sure the NPP is declared winner of the presidential polls as well’ she continued along this line and I quickly sat upright in bed, realizing all of a sudden that my beloved country is not out of the woods yet. Why should every election period make one feel like a woman in labour? I thought to myself. Another lady about to spoil the X’mas? Well, if what she is saying is true, then we all need to support her, if not then Ghanaian men need be wary of the women for while some appear to be thinking, thinking about how to derail the country, the men , some of them appear to have abdicated that function. Like Adam, they are ready to swallow anything the Eve’s bring and act on it.