Politics

Ghana’s political dynamics and the affirmative action:The position of Dr Bawumia

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The unveiling of the national campaign team of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for the 2024 general elections has sparked a debate surrounding the stance of Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the party’s flagbearer, on gender equality.

Officially announced on 19th February, 2024, the NPP introduced a team of thirty-nine strategically selected members tasked with overseeing the party’s bid to secure Ghana’s political power for the third consecutive term. Noteworthily, only two members, approximately five percent, are females, namely: Rev. Joyce Aryee and Hon. Akosua Frema Osei Opare, the current and exceptional Chief of Staff at the presidency.

This position of both Dr. Bawumia and party leadership conspicuously contradicts the NPP’s commitment to fully establish the affirmative action policy, especially in shaping the socio-economic landscape of Ghana.

It affirms that the anticipation of a female running mate for the NPP is excluded from the equation and the considerations of the flagbearer.

In a world where the female population is estimated at 49.6%, according to the World Bank’s Gender Data Portal, there is a growing global emphasis on actively involving women in decision-making at the highest levels of society.

To exemplify, the United States of America, a global superpower, currently has a female Vice President, Kamala Harris. Similarly, countries such as Argentina, Bulgaria, Spain, Switzerland, and the Philippines also have female leaders in the international arena.

In Africa, female Vice Presidents outstandingly hold office in Angola, Benin, Uganda, and Zambia, not to mention the presence of female Presidents in the continent’s history.

Ghana’s female population, as per worldometers.info and other statistical sources, is estimated at 51%, underscoring the importance of providing them with opportunities to influence the governance of our country. This is non-negociable when such opportunities arise.

The composition of the NPP’s 2024 national campaign team reflects the literal interpretation of the “We have the men” mantra, potentially sidelining equally competent women in the party. The party should offer unreserved apologies to its women wing and the generality of Ghanaian women, if in this era of women empowerment, its campaign team is less than 10% women.

With the same vigour that the NPP elected a Northern flagbearer, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, to counter the “Akan Party” label wielded against them by critics, he should influence the narrative surrounding the running mate position. Traditionally reserved for male party members, Dr. Bawumia, in this era, has the opportunity to solidify his legacy not only as the first Northern Vice President elected flagbearer by the NPP, but also by selecting a highly qualified woman from the party as a running mate.

 

Joseph Kwadwo Danquah
PhD, MSc, BSc (Hons), FHEA
Assistant Professor of Human Capital Development, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship.
Programme Leader – BSc HRM
University of Bradford , UK

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