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Opinions of Sunday, 7 July 2019

Columnist: Victoria Nyarkoah Sam-Abaidoo

Is Ghana psychologically ready for women leadership?

Your answer to this question may be yes or no. What’s my answer? I don’t know! But I think I have some points that will help us all analyse the situation.

Ghana’s population is dominated by women, at least over 50% of the population is feminine, Over 60% of the economy is informal and this sector is also dominated by women. The health sector has more female nurses than male. How about leadership? The parliament of the Republic of Ghana has less than 50% of its members being female. The security industry has more men than women, the entertainment industry constitutes more men than women. Ok, so you can do the various different sector analysis by yourself.

The Ghanaian culture has evolved over the years, we have come from the era where women were solely left in the kitchen to the era where women have become Chief Justice, Speaker of Parliament, Chief of Staff, Attorney General, Presidential running mates, Commissioners of various state institutions. My questions now are as follows:

- Are the women themselves (here I mean all women in Ghana) psychologically ready to take up very high profile positions like President, Vice President, IGP?

- Apart from the few who may be psychologically ready and able, are the other women also ready to support them?

- Are the men (here I mean all men in Ghana) psychologically ready to support their women to go for all these positions?

These questions I think you should answer them yourself.

There is this affirmative action brouhaha going on, what’s my take on it? I bet you wouldn’t want to know. Okay so before you raise eyebrows and probably stop reading this piece, Please silently answer these questions. When we go to school,

- Do we have a separate class for girls?

- Do we have a different syllabus for girls?

- Do we have a different marking scheme for girls?

I am sure your answers to these questions are obviously NO, then continue to silently answer these further questions:

- Why are you asking or advocating that when we are selecting candidates for the University we should, for instance, select girls with aggregate 15 but boys with aggregate 13?

- Why are you advocating that a woman should pay less when picking up a form to contest for any political position, but the man should pay the full amount?

- Why are you advocating for a lower criteria for girls/women anytime a woman is competing with a man?.

To me that is Pure Mediocrity, if you want to do what a boy/man is doing then compete on an equal ground, show what you’ve got, match him boot for boot, not boot for chalewote. When you compete on equal grounds, I bet you no man can downplay your competence.

Let me give you some personal experience, I met two guys after my first degree and in the middle of our conversation, I told them, I am a first-class economics and maths student with over 3.7 GPA, now instead of these guys congratulating me, can you imagine what they said? “Oh you are a lady so it’s possible”, now that got me angry and I asked why? This was an answer from one of them “ Oh as for you ladies you can get all the A’s you want as long as you are willing to open your legs” like seriously? This got me so so annoyed, I just left the scene. After all the sleepless nights I spent at the Math and Economics Departments of the University of Ghana, this is what I hear? Upon further thoughts, I said to myself, “why won’t they say that when some girls are doing that”. I have a lot of other experiences to share but I don’t want to bore you so I will end that part here.

I agree with the numerous reasons some ladies give for advocating for affirmative action bill, impediments, impediments, impediments! Oh yes we women have a lot of impediments, we can mention thousand and one of them, but hey they are still not good reasons why we should lower the standards for women, because these are the reasons why a man will say a woman did (and I write in Twi now) “Fa woto b3gye golf” (literally meaning come for a golf with your Ass) to reach any height she is now.

To my fellow women, let’s not request for a lower standard anytime we want to compete with our men, let fight with all the competence in us.

To the men, not every woman at the top got there through dubious means, a lot are there because they deserve it and are very capable. Please encourage and support any woman who wants to achieve something.

When we all do this, that is when we can confidently say GHANA IS PSYCHOLOGICALLY READY FOR WOMEN LEADERSHIP.

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