Last month, the Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Hon. Kennedy Agyapong alleged that the chairperson of Ghana’s Electoral Commission, Madam Charlotte Osei landed her job by granting sexual favours to some big-shots in the current government.
The MP made these allegations while addressing NPP supporters at Asokwa in the Ashanti Regional. Gender activists, parliamentarians, and other stakeholders have come out to condemn Mr. Agyapong’s remarks; which is all fair and good.
Our society is a better place if there are people who step forth to correct injustice, so that freedom of speech is not twisted into an avenue for abuse.
Let me state clearly that I do not think that Madam Charlotte Osei slept her way to the office she now occupies. In fact, it is no one’s business who she sleeps with.
She was appointed to do a job, and as long as she does that job, we will be very happy with her. One important point which is often overlooked every time any woman is accused of sleeping her way to the top is the involvement of the very men she allegedly slept with.
They offered the jobs, after all, therefore they are equally guilty. If we are casting stones, then they should be out there too, kneeling at our feet, so we can cast our stones in all fairness. But apparently, that is not how things work in our society. The usual Ghanaian willingness to close our eyes to the active participation of men in a sex-for-favours arrangement is absolutely shocking.
Compare this scenario to an act of bribery. The one who offers the bribe is just as guilty as the one who takes the bribe. Both parties are guilty of perverting justice for selfish ends. We should approach the matter of sex-in-exchange-for-favours in the same manner. If we must make accusations, we should bring the men to book as well. Let’s cast our stones if we must, but let us cast them at all the parties involved.
It is our hypocrisy and our double standards that promote the abuse of office and of power. Why will that CEO, that MP, that headmaster not demand sex in exchange for job offers, when he knows he lives in a society that will blame just the women? Somebody received sex as ‘payment’ for a job he should have freely given; until we revolutionize the conversation by speaking about the men too, we will be barking up the wrong tree. WHERE ARE THE MEN IN ALL OF THIS?
Let’s fish them out and threaten to ‘shame’ them too. The women who ‘slept their way to the top’ did so with men, and if they are to take a fall, they must go down together with the men they robbed the nation with.
Author is Dede Williams