Last week, I came across a news publication on one of the online news portals that, The New Patriotic Party Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Mr. Kennedy Agyapong allegedly accused the Electoral Commission Chairman Mrs. Charlotte Osei of trading sex for her current position. This attracted huge criticisms from Gender activists and a section of the public with the clergy calling on him to apologize. Interestingly, he has refused to apologize which I think it’s his call to make.
I find his allegation unfortunate. I find it unfortunate not because he is an MP or because the EC boss is a female but because I know the value of a woman in my life. One thing that amazes me about women is their ability to conceive and go through nine laborious months of pregnancy and after that, there comes the agonizing moment of delivery (NB: I’m not equating the value of a woman to her ability to give birth). This alone demonstrates the strength and tenacity of a woman. It shows the power within them. I see them as superheroes for their level of endurance. Their ability to bring to life another being makes me believe they are powerful creatures of God.
I owe my achievements to the diverse roles women played in my life. (My mom and Aunties). When I was faced with the difficulties of life and I saw my dreams crumbling before my eyes the so called able bodied, capable men were nowhere to be found. It was a woman who picked up the remnants left of me, brought to life the fighting spirit within me in order to face life fair and square like never before. That is why I said, I know the value of a woman and would forever be grateful to the wonderful women in my life.
The fact that a woman can endure 9 tedious months of pregnancy, and bring to being another life, makes me believe there’s nothing she cannot achieve in life under this sun.
Can the Member of Parliament for Assin Central have the temerity to equally say that the likes of Condoleezza Rice (Former US secretary of State), Angela Merkel (Chancellor of Germany), Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (President of Liberia) and Christine Lagarde (IMF managing director) also acceded the positions they hold now through sexual means?
We were in this country when the MP’s party was in disagreement with the Electoral commission over the 2012 election results which later culminated into a Supreme Court case but he didn’t direct such derogatory remarks towards the EC chairman who was at that time, a male.
Why is it that, we choose to belittle women in this part of our world? Why is it that we just can’t believe that a woman can independently achieve anything meaningful under this sun?
Some people use 1 Timothy 2:11-14 which says “Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first then Eve, and Adam was not deceived but the woman being deceived was in the transgression” to justify their denigration of women.
But then I remember an Esther in the Bible who saved the Jews from the hands of Haman. I used to say that gone are the days when the value of a woman was equated to her ability to sexually satisfy a man. Gone are the days when the woman wasn’t deemed fit to be educated formally or partake in major decision-makings but rather her abode is in the house, specifically the kitchen. I’m now faced with the harsh reality that there are some people who still have this primitive mentality. It’s sad that in this 21st Century some people still regard women as persona non grata.
I even used to think that, this primitive mentality was coterminous with the older generation but unfortunately it has traversed into our generation. I’ve personally had encounters with some female friends of mine who revealed that they had to break up with their boyfriends just because their boyfriends weren’t in support of their career choice or believe in their dreams. Why should females be treated like puppets as if they aren’t good enough to know what’s in their interest? Some men also come up with the excuse that, women are not cut out enough to withstand certain situations.
But then I’m reminded of a certain Yaa Asantewaa who is highly eulogized among the Asante Kingdom and Ghana as a whole for leading the Ashanti rebellion against British Colonialism. Even though she was captured and deported, her bravery stirred a kingdom-wide movement for the return of Prempeh I and for Independence.
The fact that some women use sex to leverage some positions doesn’t mean it is a general practice amongst women. Women who even do this are victims of circumstances. Some are women who after toiling to achieve their goals were denied the fruits of their labor by the so-called sacrosanct men. They are women who were told brazenly in the face that, they’re not good enough to merit some jobs. They are women who were made to believe that, the only way to get what is due them is to sacrifice their dignity. These are women who had the zest and passion for making their dreams and aspirations come to fruition and were willing to sacrifice everything even if it involved doing the unthinkable. They are women who in their quest to prove to the whole world that what a man can do, a woman can do better, became vulnerable thus were taken advantage of by some unscrupulous men. After preying on their vulnerabilities they are later ridiculed by these same men. They are women who had families looking up to them for survival. We are very quick to judge, forgetting that it takes 2 to have sex. How do we call the men who beguile these innocent women into doing this?
In some societies, women are subjected to inhumane treatments for committing adultery but the same treatment is not meted to the men they engage in the act with. It makes me wonder whether these men were given the veto power to sin.
Some of the female prostitutes that we are quick to malign in society are women who had the willpower to survive. They are women who have families to take care of. They are women whose efforts of making ends meet through appropriate means in life proved futile. They lost hope and had to subject their bodies to all kinds of treatment just to survive. (NB: I’m not encouraging prostitution). If some men were able to contain their insatiable sexual desires and stay faithful to their wives and God, there’d be nothing like prostitution or women trading sex for jobs.
It’s time we stop tolerating women in society and rather embrace them. It’s time we see them as an integral part of our society. It’s time we allow women to be what God made them be rather than trying to make them what we think they should be. Our world would be a better place if women are allowed to equally play major roles as men.
I’d always doff my hat to the likes of Lucy Quist (Managing director of Airtel Ghana and Regina Honu (Software developer and founder of Soronko Solutions) for the impact they are making in our society. They are living testimonies of what a woman was created to be. I.e. change makers. Let’s learn to respect and appreciate women because we need them to complete the puzzle of life. Let’s give honor to whom honor is due irrespective of gender. We all need each other to survive.