The Queen Mothers Association of Ghana (QMFG) is highly appalled by the conduct of the Minority in Parliament, on Tuesday, February 5, 2019, during the swearing in of the Member of Parliament Elect of the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency, Hon. Lydia Seyram Alhassan, involving the display of placards with inscription, “BLOODY WIDOW” in direct reference to her.
As much as we acknowledge their right to stage a walkout from parliament, we think that some level of responsibility and civility should accompany the exercise of such right. On account of this, we find as highly unacceptable and repugnant, the display of the placards bearing those inscriptions, and indeed, the overwhelming revulsion expressed by the Ghanaian people at their misconduct, vindicates our position.
It is certainly most distasteful and despicable to describe a woman who defied all odds including the pain of losing a beloved husband, to emerge as a victor in a parliamentary contest, in the manner the NDC MPs did on Tuesday. By their act, they have not only affronted the dignity of Parliament but have also insulted widowhood and for that matter womanhood. Such behavior, again, has the tendency of scaring away women from pursuing their career goals particularly in a male-dominated field of politics and governance.
We wish to conclude by calling on the Minority MPs to render an unqualified apology, first of all, to Hon. Lydia Seyram Alhassan, and to all women particularly widows in the country and beyond. We also call on relevant civil society organizations and individuals who believe in the Ghanaian woman to rise to the occasion and demand a retraction and apology from them.
It is not for nothing that MPs are called “Honorable Members” in society and we expect them to live up to this standard and expectation. Such insensitivity is certainly the last we expect from our MPs. Widowhood is not and cannot be a crime. Ghanaian women deserve better.
Nana Eba Kra Mpohor
Nana Afua Boatemaa