Hon. David Tetteh Asuming, Member of Parliament (MP) for Shai Osudoku on Friday February 18, had cause to complain on the floor of the House about indecent dressing, especially on the part of some women Parliamentarians.
Hon Asuming said he had to draw the attention of the Speaker of Parliament, Madam Joyce Bamford Addo, to the issue since these women are role models to the nation and it will not auger well if the youth emulate them by also wearing clothes that expose parts of their bodies.
Speaking on Citi FM’s Eye Witness News, Hon. Tetteh Asuming said: “to me I think it’s unfortunate and I need to come out now and say it because as law makers we are being studied by many people. School children come to learn the procedure in parliament and also learn the way we dress and I think what I said is in the right direction.”
According to him, when some female parliamentarians lean towards the microphone to speak, they expose their cleavage. He, however, emphasized that it was some and not all of the women in parliament who dress that way.
“It’s a wakeup call for all of us including the men who put on the short sleeves; we call it singlet, exposing their arm eventhough I never knew when men expose their arms it is attractive for people to see until Madam Speaker said it,” he added.
Earlier on in the House, Deputy Majority Leader and NDC MP for Wa Central, Hon Rashid Pelpuo, who backed his colleague MP’s assertions also gave voice to what was apparently a matter of concern to many of his male colleagues when he spoke against what he considers growing indecent dressing among the female MPs.
“Madam Speaker, there is a lot of truth in what the honorable member has observed and it is important that we have a dress code to get it right in this House. The last time the Second Deputy Speaker was here, he ruled on that issue because a member here had raised an issue about a member who just wore a shirt although it was not Friday. So he drew attention to that and I supported it and he was ruled out of order.
“Madam Speaker, this statement is to ask you today to rule on the way we dress. He has cited an example of women in particular who dress and expose certain parts of the body. It is also true that even on certain days other than Fridays, some men also wear just long and short sleeved shirts and they are not formal. So I think that we need to agree on the kind of code of dressing that will be acceptable in this House,” Hon Rashid Pelpuo said.
But some female MPs, especially those on the Minority side of the House took issue with his comment. They felt it was improper and disrespectful to women for the Deputy Majority Leader to have taken such an issue to the floor of the House; and it had to take the intervention of the Speaker to calm them down.
“I think we will look at the code of ethics. I think the consensus is that we dress well. We are differently made. Men have arms they show off and women also may have things they show off so let’s rest it here,” Rt. Hon. Justice Joyce Bamford Addo said.