Former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings has waded into the controversy over NDC minority’s tagging of Madam Lydia Seyram Alhassan as a ‘bloody widow’, calling on the top hierarchy of the party to issue an apology.
A statement from her office copied to MyNewsGh.com said the minority’s conduct was “shameful” and a setback against the fight to whip up women’s interest in politics and governance.
“I call on the leadership of the NDC to do what is honourable by apologising to Ghanaians generally and specifically, to the Hon. Seyram Lydia Alhassan and the good people of Ayawaso West Wuogon.”
Members of Parliament (MPs) from the Minority NDC side displayed placards during the swearing-in of the MP for Ayawaso West Wuogon, Madam Lydia Seyram Alhassan, last Tuesday.
Their placards read “bloody Widow” among other inscriptions.
These MPs are to face the Privileges Committee of Parliament for their behaviour. First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu, gave the ruling yesterday, directing the Clerk of Parliament to go for the tapes or video recordings of the day’s proceedings to identify the MPs involved in the display of placards with the inscription “Bloody Widow” directed at Madam Alhassan for them to be referred to the Privileges Committee.
Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, however, believes the NDC itself should apologize publicly.
Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings writes
Ghanaians Deserve A Better Minority in Parliament
I have watched with shock and consternation, the callous and maliciously orchestrated attempt by Members of the Minority in Parliament to belittle, lampoon and ridicule the newly elected Member of Parliament for Ayawaso West Wuogon, Ms. Lydia Seyram Alhassan.
These legislators, who are expected to know better, referred to Ms Alhassan as a ‘Bloody Widow’ and then walked out of the Parliamentary Chamber during her swearing-in.
Walkouts are an accepted practice in Parliamentary democracies, but staging a walk out because of the election of an innocent, grieving woman to Parliament is a shameful misuse of accepted parliamentary norms.
It is sad that this shameful display was carried out in no other place than the Parliament of Ghana, twenty-four years after Ghana made global commitments towards respecting women and promoting the involvement of women in politics.
The events of Tuesday, 5th Febuary, 2019, also casts doubt on the commitment of the Minority to the progress of women and towards ensuring the protection of women from domestic violence, Intimidation, discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace; Inequality in the labour market; human trafficking; Child abuse and many other acts of injustice.
If women who engage in politics are lampooned in the way and manner witnessed in Parliament on Tuesday, then no number of safe seats would be sufficient in improving the dwindling fortunes of female politicians.
As the President of an NGO for women, which has worked with women and young persons for over two decades, I see the events of Tuesday as a wicked attempt to undo the progress we have made so far in increasing women’s participation in politics and ultimately in national development.
I call on the leadership of the NDC to do what is honourable by apologising to Ghanaians generally and specifically, to the Hon. Seyram Lydia Alhassan and the good people of Ayawaso West Wuogon.
For the legislative arm of government (Parliament House ) to be taken seriously by Ghanaians, foremost, it should exhibit that it takes itself serious.
Forces of Women Empowerment, Arise Now !!!
God Bless Women in Ghana and across the world.
God Bless Our Homeland Ghana.
Signed: Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings