The Director-General in charge of Welfare of the Ghana Police Service (GPS), COP Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, has lamented what she calls the seeming increase of sexism and harassment faced by women in leadership positions in the country.
According to her, female bosses continue to suffer gender discrimination, claiming there is still prejudice for women in leadership roles in Ghana.
Speaking at the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) leadership workshop for young people in Accra, COP Addo-Danquah stated that this kind of stereotyping could play a part in limiting people’s potential and making several women miss out on their ambition to become leaders.
She called for action to foster the growth of future female leaders at various levels of society and challenged stereotypes that could disadvantage women in getting into leadership roles.
For her, the swiftness with which people question why a woman has risen to the top is untenable, adding that everyone should be eligible to reach higher ranks in the Ghanaian society regardless of the person’s gender.
COP Addo-Danquah, who is the first female Commandant of the Ghana Police Command and Staff College in Winneba, said misogynists tend to slander female bosses because they consider them unworthy of the positions they occupy.
“It is challenging to be a female leader in Ghana because of the male dominance. People always try to find reasons you are at the top. You must accept it as a challenge and focus on what you have been appointed to do. Some even ask whether you slept with appointing authorities to get your position,” she pointed out.
She indicated that be it activists or professionals, many women have called it a day and blamed their detractors for the decision to bow out but said that the pervasive abuse of women should not discourage young women from pursuing their dreams.
“You do not know who is watching what you are doing and the impact you could be making in the development of society. Wherever you find yourself, do your assigned roles to the best of your ability because the benefits thereof will be enormous,” she counselled.
She recounted how she got inspired by a female police officer who asked her to join the GPS while she was a hawker at Konongo in the Ashanti Region.