Ghana

We are not your sisters, aunties or wives …

Female Parliament

Female Parliament, Ghana. Source:Myjoyonline, Feb. 12th.

Newsource: Myjoyonline

Female Members of Parliament are not the least bit happy about how some of their male colleagues address them on the floor of the House.

Ayorkor Botchway, the Member of Parliament for Weija, says the atmosphere should be strictly business on the floor of Parliament and that female MPs must be addressed by their appropriate titles.

“We are honourable members of the House and that is how we must be addressed on the floor,” she said in a comment on the apparent discrimination against women in Parliament.

She took serious exception to Asawasi MP Muntaka Mohammed when he referred to the female MPs as his “sisters in the House.”

“I don’t think I am his sister. We are not their aunties, wives. We are honorable MPs,” she retorted.

Her colleague, Tarkwa Nsuaem MP Eugenia Gifty Kusi, also raised the question of why there are no female MPs in the Ministries of Defence or Works and Housing, explaining that a substantial number of experienced female MPs are qualified to work in those ministries.

Personal Addendum: I found this article very interesting because it highlights gendered perceptions of women in positions of influence and perhaps a certain expectation of them that is marred by blurred lines of familial and traditional categorizations of women versus their roles in the professional sphere. Women are expected to have a stream of consciousness informed by maternal instincts and their femininity. Whilst this may be regarded as a good thing, I feel it is crucial for us to also ask ourselves why men do not bear the brunt of being looked up to and perceived as fathers, brothers and husbands who have incredible obligations to cater to the needs of their families, and societies rather than the widespread thievery (corruption) and abysmal political slandering that goes on! Again this is not to say women are innocent of these indictments as well – God knows we have many examples of both genders being eligible for blame. Simply put, my point is that perhaps in the blurred lines of assigning social and moral responsibilities to professional ethics (esp. in this case, public/political careers),  we should vehemently hold both men and women to the same level of accountability, as fathers and mothers, wives and husbands, daughters and sons, whose “humane” .

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