Friday, May 7, 2010

Editorial: Where Art Ye?!!!...Women-Rights Activists

The rather loud silence of women-rights activists and advocates in the face of the strong resistance that is greeting the decision of the authorities of the University of Ghana, Legon, to, among other measures, convert the hitherto all-male Commonwealth Hall of residence into a mixed gender hall of residence cannot pass without comment.

Indeed, on the day that we heard a very notable radio personality describe as “sacrilegious” the decision of the University authorities to make the hall a mixed gender one, we expected that women rights activists, particularly those of them that were in the forefront against Opesika Aggudey a few years back, would come out with the same venom with which they attacked Aggudey.

Where are the Ursula Owusus of this world who want the whole world to believe that they are fighting for the emancipation and equality for the Ghanaian woman? Have they not heard of the strong opposition being mounted against the proposal being put forward by the University of Ghana authorities?

Are they not hearing that people are resisting the proposal purely on the basis that Commonwealth Hall must remain a male enclave where the feminine gender could only be a transient visitor; which in effect means that women are not good enough to be in Commonwealth Hall?
Are the Ursula Owusus of this world telling us through their rather loud silence that they also believe that it would be sacrilegious for commonwealth Hall to house female students of the University of Ghana?

This is the time that the Ursula Owusus of this world, who claim that they are leading advocates and activists in the struggle for the rights of the Ghanaian woman, must come out to speak for the Ghanaian woman and let those who, solely on the basis of male chauvinism, are resisting the idea of mixed-gender Commonwealth Hall come to terms with the fact that the world has long passed that stage of archaic thinking.

As for the intended march, procession, or demonstration (pick your choice) of the students to the Castle to protest against the other decision of the University authorities to make the Commonwealth Hall a graduate hall, we on The Ghanaian Lens believe that the vandals may be unwittingly setting the stage for government interference in the internal affairs of the University.

Today, for whatever reason, students claim that they have found the need to invite government to intervene in a wholly internal affair of the University. The question that we ask is, assuming government responds to the students’ demand and acts in accordance with the wishes of the students today, where would it end? Would this not set a dangerous reference point for governments to continue to interfere in the internal affairs of our various Universities?

We believe that the students must direct their march, procession, or demonstration at the University authorities rather than using it to give government a ready excuse to wade into a wholly internal affair of the University of Ghana and other universities for that matter.

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