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THE USE OF UNPARLIAMENTARY LANGUAGE DURING THE SWEARING IN OF HON. LYDIA SEYRAM ALHASSAN

By February 08, 2019 229 0

“Thou shalt not pevert the judgement of the stranger,

 nor of the fatherless; nor take a widow raiment to pledge”.

Deuteronomy 24:17.

Hon. Members of the women caucus, friends of the media, yesterday on the floor of parliament, members on the minority side including female minority members walked out of parliament. They also raised up placards in the chamber with the inscription “BLOODY WIDOW”. 

The women caucus in parliament express utmost revulsion and disgust to the shameful stance staged by the minority yesterday. Indeed we are converging the sentiments of our constituents across the country

We state that their action is a vicious attack on the strenuous efforts made every the years as a people to attain Gender Parity and empower women 

The Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, frowns on the discrimination against women.  Article (12) clause (2) of the constitution states; 

“Every person in Ghana, whatever his race, place of origin political opinion, color, religion, creed or gender shall be entitled to the fundamental human right and freedoms of the individual contained in this chapter but subject to respect for the right and freedoms of others and for the public interest”.

We the women of the majority caucus are grossly disappointed in the attitude and language of the minority members against Hon. Lydia Seyram Alhassan on the various placards displayed in the chamber yesterday. 

We hereby condemn in no uncertain terms the act of the minority, a rather disrespectful and inhumane treatment and an attack on the dignity and integrity of womanhood. This is brutal and un-parliamentary.  Order 93 (2) of our standing orders states; 

“It shall be out of order to use offensive, abusive, insulting, blasphemous or unbecoming words or to impute improper motive to any member or to make personal allusions.”

We are absolutely convinced that the language on the placards was grossly un-parliamentary, frivolous, barbaric and unconstitutional.

 

Through such unconventional circumstances these noble women have had the opportunity of representing their late husbands in Parliament. This is a true reflection of caliber of women in such circumstances. 

Widowhood is not a crime neither would any woman ever wish of becoming a widow.  The minority must bow their heads down in shame and render an unqualified apology to the honourable Member of Parliament as expected of honourable members. 

Women represent approximately Fifty-One percent (51%) of the total population of Ghana. Therefore, our efforts cannot be downplayed in the development of our nation.

Issues like this has the tendency of discouraging many women from actively participating in politics. In this twenty first century, no nation can do better without a sizeable number of women in governance. 

In Ghana’s Parliament there are only Thirty-Seven (37) women out of Two Hundred and Seventy-Five (275) Members, representing about Thirteen Percent (13%) of the total number.  Hon. Lydia’s electoral victory brings the number of female MPs in Ghana to thirty-eight (38). This Statistics is not too encouraging.  We can do better by saving these distractive comments in our body politics.

It is therefore worrying if women who boldly and willingly offer themselves to serve their nation are treated this way. Where is the security of our democracy?

Whereas international organizations as well as pro-women empowerment Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are fighting for women rights and inclusion in all aspect of life, the minority of this house are rather doing the contrary.  The Minority Leader recently made a public statement to the effect that there ought to be a consented effort to increase women representation in parliament. They should walk the talk. 

In 2016, the NDC elected Mrs. Linda Ocloo as their parliamentary candidate for Shai Osidoku and supported her to be an MP when her husband William Ocloo died in a road accident.

We are again pained by the fact that some women MPs on the minority side partook in this shameful action. That image shall forever be a hefty blow on their conscience as women leaders in then society where we continue to suffer all manner of discrimination.

Women all over the world have proven that we are capable of manning public affairs and thus our value and respect must be duly accorded  us at all times.

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