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Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah says President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s track record on empowering women remains unquestionable.

Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah says President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s track record on empowering women remains unquestionable.


Referring to the President’s recent comment that there has not been enough dynamism around the gender parity agenda, “which has generated a plethora of welcome public debate”, he said many expected the President “to have repeated the cliché of ‘women must be empowered’ (or, in the new paradigm, ‘amplified’)”.

“However, President Akufo-Addo chose the path of the hard truth which may sound unpopular within global liberal circles but which remains a fact: that on the gender parity journey, we could do with a lot more dynamism where it matters most,” a statement from Mr Oppong Nkrumah said.

Effect change

One critical area that generally remains unattended to is “ensuring there are enough women at the … table and creating the enabling environment so they participate in decision-making at the highest levels”.

The Minister said this is what the President meant when he insisted that women must get hold of the levers of power and decision-making.

Mr Oppong Nkrumah said the President has been a consistently firm believer that the path to effecting any change lies in attaining political power.

“It is for this reason that he has for decades been involved in the tumult and challenges of politics aiming for the highest office, so he could effect the change he seeks.
“This has come at great cost to him over the years. Nonetheless, he firmly believes that, without political power, only marginal impact can be made,” the Information Minister said.

Mr Oppong Nkrumah explained that the President’s argument is that advocates must also channel their energies towards enabling women to take hold of the tools of power.

“It is from this desire to catapult effective women into leadership and nation-impacting positions that he argues the dynamism required has not been enough,” the Minister said.

Standout record

“President Akufo-Addo has taken many steps to contribute to the empowerment of women and is a strong believer in advancing the professional and economic growth of women as much as possible.
“He advocates that the next stage in the women’s empowerment journey is increased dynamism that encourages more women to step forward even when not pushed.”

He recalled that the President in 2008 put forward a woman as his first choice for running mate.

Again in the 2012 NPP parliamentary primaries, he argued that sitting female MPs should be protected while lowering costs for women aspirants.

“Under his leadership, the gender disproportion in our politics has significantly improved. He appointed the first female Chief of Staff and ensured that the positions of Chief Justice and Cabinet Secretary were given to qualified, exemplary women,” Mr Oppong Nkrumah said.

“Nineteen per cent of his ministerial appointments, including key roles such as Attorney General, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Local Government, to name but a few, are women. Thirty-six of his MMDCEs as well as several top executives of state-owned enterprises are now women.”

He recalled that in President Jerry John Rawlings’s first term 15 per cent of his ministerial appointees were female and that he ended his second term with 13.58 per cent. President John Kufuor had an average 11.43 per cent across his two terms; President John Evans Atta Mills had 18.35 per cent in his one term, while former President Mahama had 17.86 per cent.

With President Akufo-Addo’s 19.24 per cent in his first term, the Information Minister says it remains unquestionable that he has appointed the largest number of female ministers in the Fourth Republic.