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Opinions of Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Columnist: Kojo Anan Ankomah

Speak out against denigration of women

EC chair, Charlotte Osei EC chair, Charlotte Osei

I have read comments allegedly made about EC Boss Mrs. Charlotte Osei by an MP. I am deliberately not naming the MP because, these days, strange happenings on the Internet and social media makes one careful about the veracity of such stories. Or, maybe, the content of this story is so outrageous and sickening that there is a part of me that wishes it wasn't true.

But just for the records, I was in Legon when a Miss Charlotte Kesson-Smith (now Mrs. Charlotte Osei) also entered Legon, same faculty. Then School of Law. Then she worked as a TA at the Faculty.

Then she attended the same Canadian grad school as I did, Queen's University. Years later she worked as an Associate in my firm. Now she's EC boss. When we celebrated our 25th anniversary, we were honoured to host her at one of the events as an alum that we are proud of.

I have two daughters, and I hope that they will go pursue education, at least, up the the level that Charlotte achieved. I believe that their mother, aunts and grandmother, and several other women are inspirations to them, encouraging them to be all they can be.

I would go ballistic if anyone suggests, in the future, that they are only who or what they are and will become, for any reason other than personal attainment and achievement. And I will shoot anyone who says that other reason is sex.

Charlotte has a dad too. Whether this story is true or not, he must feel as offended as I can only imagine I would be, if not more.

I call on all well-meaning Ghanaians to speak up and out against this and any other denigration of women. The African woman works against considerable odds to attain heights that men take for granted. It is not allowed for her to be denigrated in this manner, simply because a person disagrees with her.

I call on political parties whose members make such comments to have the guts, spine and cojones to condemn such statements too.