Thursday, December 1, 2016


When it comes to election to the presidency, the highest office in Ghana, it is quite obvious that we are mostly stereotyped to think that it is a job for men. That has been the mentality of many people and many nations. That trend however seems to be changing and the belief that women can perform in the highest office of the land is changing.  It is quite interesting to see women competing with men for the opportunity to serve in the highest office of the land.

 Over the years, many nations have seen women stand up to men in the contest for the highest office of the land. It is true that whatever a man can do, a woman can do better but can the same be said about the choice of gender in running national affairs? In the run up to the 2012 general elections, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, wife of former President, Jerry John Rawlings broke away from the National Democratic Congress to form her own party, the National Democratic Party, after her failed bed to become the party's flagbearer in 2016.

This year, the gallant woman is again vying for the highest office of the land along with six valiant men making her the only female in the race. Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings was the first lady of Ghana from 4th June, 1979 to September 1979 and from December 1981 to 7th January, 2001.  She has been the president of the 31st December Women's Movement since 1982. She was elected First Vice Chairperson of her party in 2009 during the second term of her National Democratic Congress (NDC) party's tenure in office under President John Atta Mills.

 She shares a lot in common with the failed female presidential candidate in the just-ended American elections, Mrs. Hilary Clinton. They have both walked the corridors of power and have been first ladies for a considerable length of time. This fact alone puts them in a better position in understanding the state of affairs in their respective countries. Like in the just ended American election, many people were of the view that since the world was craving for change, it was time to give the chance to a woman to lead the United States of America. Even with the advantage of the incumbent government, Mrs. Clinton still lost the election. It is possible that America was not prepared to put the nation into the hands of a woman at this time.

Coming down to Ghana's elections and focusing on the chances of Mrs. Rawlings, many factors may impede her chances of occupying the Flagstaff House as the first ever female president of the land. Though we are inclined to change the status quo, would it be this drastic? That we would change our voting pattern since 1992 to put woman in the flagstaff house? Some of our own cultural values and differences in relation to women would be a deciding factor in this year's general elections. 

Are Ghanaians ready to look beyond gender and vote based on the wealth of experience Mrs. Rawlings has to offer? Can Mrs. Rawlings defy the odds and come out victorious? Can Mrs. Rawlings join the ranks of Theresa May, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Angela Merkel and Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner to become part of the few women leaders in the world? Then her campaign team needs to put in all effort to ensure that, come 7th December, history is made.


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