Dr Eunice Abbey: The phenomenal ‘witches’ in Ghanaian politics

Societies have undergone several changes. Along the line, certain practices, values, and traditions were abandoned to adopt others to suit the present changes and civilization. Well, the changes we hoped, were to move us from the state of good to better or from better to best. Today, we see a blend of both the good and the bad.

When the “gods” smile at us, we sail through a good day. Should they be angry, we hear some of the worst of utterances that “blacken” the day. Regardless, there will always be those who bear the torch of truth, honesty, bravery, and patriotism to position Ghana at its best for development. For this agenda to be realized, the roles of women cannot be overemphasized.

The vital positions, roles, and responsibilities of women in all spheres of development should have been a debate of the past. To painstakingly be defending this absolute fact in Ghana at 62 years is rather unfortunate.

To consciously or unconsciously place restrictions and limitations on women with regards to how far they should or can go in life is unacceptable. Who determines what they can and cannot do? Where to go and not to go, their preferences, aspirations, and goals? Should demeaning and derogatory remarks be made against women for daring to be in politics or grab political positions?

Our cultural values and norms seem to have “carved” a seat for the Ghanaian woman to passively watch on and not be an active participant. Politics is a battleground where wisdom, intelligence, courage, resilience, teamwork, truth, selflessness, love, and the likes are flagged up. These need not be gendered, both men and women are capable of displaying these.

For the women who dare to battle them out, the opportunity should be given without castigating them. Women like Lydia Seyram, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Zanetor Rawlings, Betty Mould Iddrisu, and the others who exhibited impressive political “witchcraft” were labeled and negatively tagged. They won and have become trailblazers and an inspiration to the younger generation. Some are still doing incredibly well.

If men could propose to women to be their wives, girlfriends, or fiancées, they could also propose to them to be their running mates for any political position. When the opposite happens in both instances, it needn’t be a celebrated miracle but an unsurprising possibility. Just like some male political figures either fail woefully or become successful, the same could apply to the woman.

Until the opportunity is given, one can never tell! The “Hillary Clintons” elsewhere were celebrated, Ghana could copy action without being judgmental. If a woman daring to play the political game makes her a witch, then Ghana needs more of such phenomenal “witches” in Ghana. Our political affiliations differ. Likewise, our values and opinions.

We can always express our differences in ways that do not throw disparaging slurs against one another. It is neither about “peppering” or “sugaring” them, nor about “boxing” the men out of their authority or a well-deserving position. The opposite is true as well. The crusading theme remains unchallenged; the same opportunities for both men and women to prove or justify their worth, respect, and being fair to all.

Congratulations to all women especially, those in politics. Congratulations to Prof. Naana Opoku Agyemang. We are proud of you!

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