In 2014/15, Akufo-Addo put on the party’s agenda how to aggressively ensure that women are selected for winnable seats. But, other pressing intra-party issues at the time derailed that important move.
A leading member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, has revealed that attempts by the then-candidate Akufo-Addo to choose a woman as his running mate was strongly resisted by powerful women groups in the political party.
Otchere-Darko said two groups; the women caucus of the NPP in Parliament and the women organizers of the party, lobbied against the choice of Hajia Alima Mahama as running-mate in 2008.
His post follows the debate that has greeted President Akufo-Addo’s recent comment that there has not been enough dynamism in the gender parity agenda of the country.
The executive director of the Danquah Institute recalled a 'disheartening and scary" moment where two buses filled with NPP Women Organisers from across the country parked in front of the candidate’s house in East Legon to lobby him against the choice of the woman.
Meanwhile, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said the president only sought to make a point about the need for women to step up and forcefully fight for what matters most, adding that his comments have been misconstrued.
President Akufo-Addo, at the conference, among other things, said despite giving women more opportunities in his government, there was a need for more of a push from women themselves to take hold of political power.
Speaking in an interview on Eyewitness News, Oppong Nkrumah was of the view that the president’s commitment to gender parity cannot be questioned.
He also disclosed that in a build-up to the 2008 general elections, President Akufo-Addo, as a result of his commitment to promoting the interest of women in the country first considered a woman for the position of vice-presidential candidate.
“The president has been one of our strongest champions for gender parity in our public life. In 2008, when he was selecting a vice-presidential candidate, his first choice was a woman. In 2012 he was the one who argued that women potential candidates in the NPP should be protected and should be given less of a fee to pay when they contest. He has been the president who has appointed the largest number of women in his administration, the numbers are all there. His commitment to gender parity is not in question,” the Information minister argued.
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