Political Science lecturer at the University of Ghana, Professor Ransford Gyampo has dismissed the suggestion that the mere selection of a woman running mate by flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress, John Mahama will translate into votes in his favour come December 2020.
Professor Gyampo explained that even though women form the majority of the population of Ghana, evidence, since Ghana returned to democratic governance in 1992, show that women in Ghana have failed to vote in favour of Presidential candidates with female running mates.
On that basis, he shot down the suggestion being pushed in the public sphere that the one-time President, John Mahama seeking re-election for a second time after the first ended in a historic defeat in 2016, will have outright votes in his favour from women constituency.
Speaking in an interview with ABC News, Professor Gyampo said women forcefully advocate for empowerment and supporting their own but when it comes to actualizing the support through votes, they make the decision based on partisan lines.
“We as a people tend to make a lot of noise about women particularly women groups. Women empowerment, women empowerment but since 1992, records have shown that women do not vote for their own. Women constitute about 52% of Ghana’s population and if women are going to vote for their own then it means women will win. The only way women will vote for their own it’s for women to form constituency meaning it is for women to say that because she is our own, we will vote for her regardless of her partisan coloration. If not, women are going to say well, she is a woman alright but because she doesn’t belong to our party, we will not vote for her.
In his assessment of the Ghana situation, he noted that the way out is for women to constitute one body, united voice, with no partisanship to advocate for their course.
This he pointed out will make women voice very powerful and get the public and governments to give them a listening ear beyond campaign periods.
“A woman’s candidature will be meaningless unless they form a constituency to support their own but since 1992 women have never supported their own. They will make all the noise but when it comes to voting they will say well she is a fine woman but because she is not in my party I will not vote for her. So at the end of the day women do not get the support,” he remarked.
Despite encouraging them to forge a united front, Professor Gyampo was quick to add that the election of a woman into office isn’t a guarantee that the interest of women will be advanced.
He noted that evidence abound to suggest that there are instances people ride on the back of a collective force but fail to promote their course, a possibility he cautioned women to anticipate.
“A female candidate does not necessarily guarantee that women interest will be protected. Sometimes you have a young person who is selected as an MP who behaves pompous. He behaves like an adult, when he is driving and he sees his cohorts playing he roles his tainted glasses and drives off because he is a big man now. A woman candidate or flagbearer will not necessarily champion the course of women,” he added.