The People’s National Convention (PNC) has said it finds the opposition to the recommended payment of salaries to presidential spouses “repulsive” and an “attempt to derail the progress of women in the country”.
A statement signed by the PNC’s General Secretary, Janet Asana Nabla, said: “We believe in gender equality and any policy that is created to upgrade the economic status of women and to give them fairness is welcome”.
Already, some politicians have filed a suit at the Supreme Court seeking to stop the payment.
Opposition MPs for South Dayi and Builsa South, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamakpor and Clement Apaak, respectively, filed a joint suit in that regard.
Also, the Bono Regional Chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Kwame Baffoe, popularly known as Abronye, filed a writ at the Supreme Court along the same line.
In their view, the five-member Professor Ntiamoah-Baidu Committee which President Nana Akufo-Addo set up in June 2019 to review emoluments payable to Article 71 officeholders, exceeded its mandate by proposing that presidential spouses be paid cabinet-level salaries.
Civil society persons such as the Executive Director of the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), Prof H Kwasi Prempeh and University of Ghana lecturer Prof Ransford Gyampo, have also kicked against the proposed payment.
The PNC, however, says paying presidential spouses is a laudable idea.
Read the party’s full statement below:
8th July, 2021.
STATEMENT ON EMOLUMENTS OF THE PRESIDENT AND THE VICE-PRESIDENT’S SPOUSES.
The PNC has followed with keen interest, the discourse on the above-stated matter in the media space and wishes to throw its support for the proponents of such a brilliant scheme to make the offices of the first and second ladies relevant for our development.
In any case, the first and second ladies have been taken care of by the state in the form of allowance provisions since the inception of the 4th Republic. What would it take if we are to regularise the allowances now? We rather see this to be an issue of gender parity on the part of those who are against it.
It is disheartening to see some civil society organisations, NGOs, political parties and individuals kicking against the 1st and 2nd ladies being under salary and citing a section of the Constitution to buttress their point when they have contributed in disregarding sections that advocate gender equality.
For instance, article 35(6b) of the directive principles of state policy has stated that state institutions should be mindful of the gender factor when recruiting.
This provision has been flouted on uncountable occasions, yet the opponents of this scheme have never gotten angry over the flouting of this constitutional directive, only for them to find their voices when something good is going to benefit women.
We, from the PNC, find the act of opposing the scheme repulsive and an attempt to derail the progress of women in the country.
We believe in gender equality and any policy that is created to upgrade the economic status of women and to give them fairness is welcome.
It was the PNC, in September 1998, at a rally in Kumasi that first announced, from its manifesto, the idea to set up a Ministry of Women due to the gender disparities we saw in the country.
One would have thought that a country that prides itself of being the first country to attain independence in sub-Sahara Africa would have been gender-sensitive in its dealings but rather Ghana is backward when it comes to gender matters.
The Inter-Parliamentary Union’s world classification on women in politics placed Ghana under 145 out of 180 countries during their survey. Ghana was seen to be lagging behind countries such as Togo, Niger amongst others.
Those kicking against any policy or decision that would better the lives of women should bow down their heads in shame.
A country that is religious (over 80 per cent of the population is both Christians and Muslims) should not be violating the principles of both the Holy Bible and the Holy Quran.
Jesus Christ, for instance, saw a woman whom the Israelites claimed committed adultery and wanted to stone her to death and he asked them where the man is.
What it means is that you must practice equality in all your dealings.
When the disciples (Sahaba) of Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W.) contacted him demanding between their father and mother whom they should first honour, the Prophet instructed them by answering three consecutive times to first honour their mother. We should be favouring this scheme.
Women in Ghana have offered unpaid labour for a long time and it is high time they are rewarded.
It is generally believed that cleaning the home is a woman’s job but men are in corporate organisations, institutions such as the hospitals doing the same work and taking salaries.
Cooking is usually done by women at home but men are on the roadside, restaurants, hotels cooking, calling themselves chefs and receiving salaries.
Lastly, the same men who don’t do laundry at home are those managing laundry services in Ghana.
They wash and iron without being ashamed and the conclusion one can draw is that a job that does not attract salary is regarded as women jobs while men keep the paying jobs.
The opponents of the scheme should know that they are not fighting against the 1st and 2nd ladies but the economic status of women in Ghana and the Affirmative Action Bill yet to be passed and the PNC, as a party, will not support such acts
PNC: Service with honesty.
Janet Asana Nabila