MP Narrates How His Lecturer Mocked Him

…As Gender Minister Nominee

A Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection Ministry designate, Dr Benjamin Sekyere Yeboah, has revealed his struggles and unpleasant commentaries that greeted his nomination which was contained in President Akufo-Addo’s February 14, reshuffle.

According to the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tano South many, including his law lecturer made nonsense of his expected role at the ministry as a male, because of the misconception people have about the name; Gender Ministry.

The nominee, who made this known during his vetting at the Appointment Committee of Parliament last Friday March 8, said the unnamed lecturer who had earlier granted him permission to meet the President for the appointment, had hoped that his student would be offered a ministry that he could benefit from.


But to his surprise, the nominee was posted to a sector, which in his view brings no hope to him.

He told the Joseph Osei-Owusu led Committee, “I remember in a law class, my lecturer that I sought permission from that the President is asking me to come to the Jubilee House, so in terms of the class, I will leave, so he said okay, you can go.

The following week, not knowing he was monitoring what they were going to give me. He came to class and said, I thought you were going to be given Local Government where we can come but Gender, what are you going to do”?

Chairman’s advise

Earlier, chairman of the Committee, Osei-Owusu, tasked him that in the event that the nominee gets approved by Parliament, he should work to erase the erroneous impression people have about the definition of gender and the ministry.

“Dr Sekyere, there’s one perception I want you to work at when you go. Generally, the word gender appears to refer to only women, so even when men are maltreated, nobody pays attention to them.

I want you and the ministry, do you think we can redefine or reevaluate the meaning of gender to cover males and females, so that the Ministry will focus on both sides”.

Dr Yeboah, who appreciated the misconception identified by the 1st Deputy Speaker of Parliament, assured he would do everything within his reach, so that together with his boss in the person of Dakoa Newman, they can bring clarity to the meaning of gender.

Education on the Role

To add to the discussion concerning the meaning of gender, the Deputy Minister designate, told another story to the Committee.

The MPs gathered from the nominee that, it wasn’t only his Lecturer who didn’t see the importance of his nomination to a ministry that is wrongly deemed as for women only.

According to the nominee, many people who came into contact with him after his name was mentioned, wondered why he was nominated for no other sector, but the Gender, Children and Social Protection Ministry, which in the past and present has had only females head it.

He said “It will interest you to know that when in the wisdom of the President he asked me to go to the Gender Ministry, people were asking me “are you a woman”?

So, I had to quickly come and research whether I am the only male that is being sent there, but I realized that maybe I am the fourth person to be sent there.”.

According to Dr Yeboah, “It was only honourable Joe Ghartey, who met me and said Sekyere, you are fortunate where you have found yourself, it’s very good, you will rise .

Then I said Papa, you are the only one that is encouraging me. Everybody else is mocking me that, why did the President take you to……”

Dr Yeboah, said despite the negativity, he is convinced that God has a reason for he being put at the ministry at this time.

“But I believe that God has a purpose for everything and I will work and ensure that it is not only females ….. So if we are seeking equity and equality then it shouldn’t be only females, it’s supposed to be both sides so that gender will be redefined”.

The discussion of the meaning of the gender and the erroneous impression created about the ministry was first raised by the Member of Parliament for the Asokwa constituency, Patricia Appiagyei.

The recently appointed Deputy Majority Leader, had sought to know from the nominee what he was going to do to ensure that the Affirmative Action Bill which has been languishing in the August House for years, is passed before the time of the 8th Parliament expires?

The MP and nominee, gave his assurance to his colleagues but in the course of his response, he admitted that, he has limited knowledge about the bill, however, he indicated his readiness to support the Minister to push for it passage.

The nominee who is said to be loved by many women MPs, indicated that he knows how women are passionate about the bill.

“In fact, wherever I find myself, I have been hearing about this bill and I know it is something that all women want it to be passed.

You know I don’t have the strength as deputy but I will try my best and do everything possible to give my Minister a very good push so that we ensure the bill is passed and I know if it comes the Speaker that we have will surely support it to be passed”.

At this juncture, after his submission, the Asokwa MP tried to correct what she thought was the nominee’s misunderstanding of the bill.

She explained to nominee and the public that the bill was not for women alone adding it rather seeks for equity and equality between men and women.

“I noticed you have one erroneous idea about this bill that it is all about women. No! It is about gender equity and equality. With this erroneous idea I don’t see it only in you, it travels among the men. So how are you going to get your male colleagues to understand why it is important and critical that we pass this bill”, she said.


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