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Feature Article | Mar 21, 2019

Betrayal Of Ghanaian/African Men In Gender Activism

Once upon a gender agenda, a mother did all in her power to give the best to her baby; interestingly, the best included giving them pre-boiled water with their teaspoon from their small enamelled cups occasionally. This mother as the closest parent also taught her boy child what and how to do things in their domestic and social life. She also taught her girl child likewise, and at the end of the day, the social upbringing of these children was catered for by the appropriate mentors and guardians.

One day, apart from the instruction that babies should no more be given water for their first six months we woke up to hear that there is a gender "revolution", so all which have been learned for a long time now institutionalizing our culture, are being restructured for the benefit of God knows who! So for a while now many are those who are disoriented in same vein as an Agricultural Engineer would find himself pushed into a hospital to work with his limited knowledge of science and without much reeducation.

The sad part is that this engineer was even branded as an unpatriotic because his crops were too starchy making them unhealthy and disease-prone! What! Why this accusation when we all have been relishing what has been available so far from his farm! How would knowledge of a better food crop from anywhere make his crops !that bad as to earn him the label as an unpatriotic farmer?

And please tell me, were those who are showing you a better food crop now not eating some other food of poorer quality earlier on? Of course, they have researched to find better crops which do well in their climate. It is sad that we all are overlooking the fact that the same temperate crops may not do as well in a tropical climate. For example, good as Apple is, it may not grow well in the tropical weather that Ghana/Africa has, just as cocoa will not do well in the European temperate climate. And even if Apple would do well in Ghana her hitherto experienced cocoa farmers would need reeducation, retooling etc to shift production!

Women of Ghana launched a "Coup de genre (gender)" in 1995. Great for innovation and appreciated for the attempt at cultural dynamism, since culture is expected to be dynamic; however I bemoan how women gender activists have cleverly manipulated the gender agenda selfishly so far by suddenly making men their culture enemies and perpetrators of violence while making women and children the culture victims and angels! Men as the Agricultural Engineer in the above analogy have been misunderstood and betrayed.

In a gerontocratic system like ours where elders are not queried, children and even adults are expected to obey our parents in our upbringing? And if we grow with those norms as our habit in our culture, how are we expected to shift our skills overnight in the name of "gender equality" or whatever. How easy is it for an old dog to learn new tricks!

The rivalrous approach and the "judge-and-jury-in-own-court" way the gender campaign has been run by women is distorting the positive impact which "Gender Equality" and "Women Empowerment" would have given Ghana/Africa. It is incontrovertible that men would be relieved to have women working by their side collaboratively if the latter were not accusing men of all evils. Anyway, it is not too late to make amends for a BETTER GENDER AGENDA, as culture is more than an overnight event.

This has also become necessary because it is a truism that NATURE'S designs cannot be overridden for long by human manipulations, and nature's designs in gender affairs are on the lines of collaboration and love.

Kwabena Ofori-Panin
Kwabena Ofori-Panin, © 2019

This author has authored 122 publications on Modern Ghana.
Author column: KwabenaOforiPanin

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