The Women’s Wing of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) congratulates all Ghanaian women on the occasion of the 2023 International Women’s Day celebrations.
We recognize the immense contributions of women to Ghana’s development in diverse ways for which they deserve to be celebrated. The NDC Women’s Wing, therefore, salutes all women who continue to contribute to national development as housewives, nurses, doctors, traders, teachers, lawyers, engineers, and public and civil servants among others.
We are however deeply concerned that all these sacrifices by women have been eroded by bad governance, economic mismanagement and wanton corruption by the Akufo- Addo/Bawumia NPP government to the extent that even their hard-earned savings and investments have been affected under government’s draconian and insensitive domestic debt exchange programme which has been occasioned by government’s incessant penchant for borrowing with very little to show.
We also note with regret the collapse of the National Health Insurance Scheme and the gradual return to the cash-and-carry system where patients are made to pay for services and medications at health facilities. This has led to the dissipation of the overall gains in the well-being of Ghanaians, especially women.
While we acknowledge the hardship and frustration in Ghana at the moment, we wish to encourage Ghanaians not to lose their faith in the rebuilding of a Ghana we all desire. Just as Ghana as a nation has survived colonial rule as well as military rule and has finally returned to democratic rule, we can assure the women of Ghana that there is HOPE that the NDC will turn the situation around.
As we celebrate women on this day under the theme: Digit All-Innovation and Technology for gender equity, we wish to use the opportunity to call on the Akufo-Addo/Bawumiah government to:
1. Take steps to protect young women and children in cyberspace against various cyber abuses.
2. Take steps to support girls in STEM education, not by words but by actions.
3. Take urgent steps to provide vaccines in health facilities for inoculation of our children against the six childhood killer diseases. This is a critical issue that threatens the very survival of our children and it is simply unacceptable.
4. Take steps to pass the Affirmative Action Bill which will create equal opportunities for women to realize their full potential for national development.
5. Consider exemptions for women pensioners in this crude haircut DDE programme.
We also call on the Electoral Commission of Ghana which is headed by a woman to abandon its plans of passing a new Constitutional Instrument which seeks to make the Ghana Card the sole requirement for voter registration. This is unconstitutional as it will disenfranchise millions of citizens including women who do not have Ghana cards. The proposed C.I. equally seeks to designate the District Offices of the Electoral Commission as registration centres and also gives the discretion to the EC to designate places as registration centres. This is problematic as it will make it difficult for women to travel several kilometres to register. This will be a significant disincentive for citizens to register to vote.
We wish to remind the Electoral Commission that its constitutional mandate is to undertake programmes to expand the registration of voters and not to disenfranchise citizens.
It is our considered view that there is nothing wrong with the current C.I. on voter registration. Therefore, they should not attempt to fix what is not broken.
Dr. Hana Louisa Bisiw
National Women’s Organizer