General News of Wednesday, 8 March 2017
Electoral Commission (EC) Chairperson, Charlotte Osei, has expressed disappointment with treatment meted out to women in the country.
She disclosed on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Wednesday that it is becoming difficult for women to climb the corporate leadership ladder without suffering some form of harassment from their male bosses.
She told wife of the Vice President, Samira Bawumia, who hosted the special International Women’s Day edition of the programme that the appearance of women, sometimes, determines the nature of the assault they go through.
“If you are beautiful it is a liability, if you are ugly it is a liability,” she said.
The discussant include former Deputy Finance Minister, Mona Quartey, Executive Director of Salt and Light Ministry, Joyce Aryee, and Senior Director-in-Charge of Government Relations at Newmont Africa, Ama Sarpong Bawuah.
Incidents of sexual harassment in formal workplace and academia in Ghana are growing by the day, experts have said.
A report launched by Africa Women Lawyers Association (AWLA) in 2016 indicates the issue is a “pervasive yet ignored problem in Ghana.”
Gender Activist, Dinah Adiko had told Joy News on February 3 that school girls in classes as low as class four are being sexually harassed. The issue is “so rampant” at junior high school, she added.
The EC boss who was accused by Assin Central Member of Parliament in 2016 for allegedly trading sex for her position said it is about time something was done about the issue.
She said while in the banking industry, her former boss had quizzed her about her Christian values in order to find out her position on sexual favours.
“He asked questions about the Methodist hymn,” she said, adding she never thought about getting promotion by giving in to the demands of men. “It is a value.”
Mrs Osei lamented what she described as “an issue of confidence” that she believes prevents qualified women from taking up positions they are capable of occupying, prescribing a dose of female mentoring to address the issue.
“If you’ve been in leadership anywhere [you will know that] all the mediocre men will harass you [for a vacancy when] the women are more qualified than them,” she said.