A former Director of the Social Development Policy Division of the United Nations (UN) Economic Commission for Africa, Professor Takyiwaa Manuh, has taken a swipe at Ghanaians for recent arguments and counter arguments about the founders and leaders of the country.
She said the arguments and counter-arguments were with no consideration at all about the contribution of women and the youth at the time.
According to her, although Ghana had been lauded for its democracy, it was important to take stock of the integration of gender and youth in the democratic system in order to deepen progress and achieve the UN Agenda 2030 and the more ambitious AU Agenda 2063.
Prof Manuh was this year’s speaker at the 15th ‘Kronti ne Akwamu’ lectures in Accra on Thursday [August 29, 2019].
She was speaking on the theme: Gender and youth in Ghana’s democratic consolidation.
The 15th lecture coincided with the Centre for Democratic Development’s (CDD) 20th anniversary commemoration.
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Prof. Manuh said with more than half the population being female and about a third being the youth, there could be no sustainable and inclusive development without intentional policies that took into account and addressed the needs and concerns of women and the youth.
“But it would appear that gender and youth are the two categories that receive little mention or attention, as we tussle over our founders and leaders represented as mostly male and gerontocratic.”
“If I may ask, who and where are our founding “mrantie and nmabawa” and our founding mothers and how do we celebrate them?” she queried.
“I recall the Trinidadian historian, C.L.I. James, in his book, Nkrumah and the Ghana (1977). who said, “In the struggle for Ghana’s independence, one market woman was worth any dozen Achimota graduate.”
She said throughout the country’s history, women and youth had contributed immensely, but they were not recognised.
Prof. Manuh proposed wide ranging changes, including the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill and the Spousal Rights Bill.
She said women ought to be fully represented in all spheres of the country’s democracy.
She said the failure to do that would be short-changing the country’s democratic progress.