Nana Konadu Calls On Women To Embrace Politics

4 09 2010

NANA KONADU AGYEMAN RAWLINGSFormer First Lady and President of the 31st December Women’s Movement, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings has encouraged women to show interest in political office so they can help remove the scourge of human indignity plaguing the country. Nana Konadu, who is also a Vice-Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) said Christian women should “be in responsible positions at all levels of society so we can slowly start a revolution aimed at ridding our society of the dehumanizing conditions brought forth by leadership” who preach virtue but practice vice.

Speaking at a rally organised by the Southern Presbytery Women Bible Class of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana, at Aveyime on Friday, Nana Konadu said many women had allowed the dynamism of the world and the allure of affluence to affect they train their children.

See full text of her address below.


Distinguished guests, my dear mothers, sisters and daughters in Christ, I am grateful to the Southern Presbytery Women Bible Class of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana for inviting me to address this rally.

I am particularly happy to speak on the topic, “Enhancing Human Dignity: The role of the Christian Woman” even though I am convinced the Women Bible Class have chosen this topic to remind me never to forget my Christian principles in whatever campaign I embark on as champion of women’s emancipation and as a politician. What is human dignity? Human dignity is more than just ensuring that people enjoy fundamental human rights such as freedom, justice, equality, right to freedom of speech and equity in employment.

Having championed women’s rights issues for close to three decades I recognize that human dignity also involves the basic training we all receive as children and young people and how we allow these to contextualize in our adult life.

A lot of us received Christian training that failed to spare the rod and we grew up with a strict adherence to basic principles of respect for our elders and refusal to fall prey to the sins of lying, cheating and thievery.

Many of us chose to apply these same principles when we later married in life and brought forth children. But how many of us have also not failed to apply these principles of human dignity to our offspring?

We have allowed the so-called dynamism of the world and the allure of affluence to affect the way we inculcate discipline in our children and sadly we seem not to have the ability to educate our children to adopt good Christian values that will ensure that they grow up into symbols of human dignity – responsible adults.

My dear Christian sisters, as Christian women we have a huge responsible to turn the tide of self-inflicted indignity that has engulfed our society. We have allowed the dynamism of the world to engulf our fundamental responsibilities to God to ensure that at every opportunity we rise above the allure of sin and rise above reproach by being spiritually steadfast.

As a someone who believes in the need for women to have dignity I have led the crusade to ensure that women have confidence to assert themselves in society and contribute to every aspect of family and community development. As members of the Women Bible Class a lot of responsibility is also brought on you as you learn from the teachings of the bible and aside practicing what you learn propagate that gospel in a manner that will ensure that we enhance human dignity in society. I am of the opinion that Christian women should first start the journey from the home by being assertive but respectful, hard working and not lazy, and more importantly to complement the role of the husband by being supportive economically.

As women we should move away from seeing the head of the house as the bearer of all the good tidings that a family requires. A lot of the time we put so much pressure on our husbands that they are compelled to choose illegal means of supporting the family. The development of our families is linked to the socio-economic development of our country and the socio-economic development of our country is definitely linked directly to an enhanced human dignity because economic satisfaction has a way of ensuring that our citizenry do not fall prey to negative indignities, such as prostitution, armed robbery, white collar fraud and a host of undignified means of survival that abound in our society.

My dear Christian sisters, and brethren – I see a significant number of men here as well – we have to avoid hypocrisy and the attitude referred by many as holier than thou attitude. We sometimes allow our closeness to the church to detach us from the very people who need our help – the poor, disadvantaged people who turn to crime for a living. We see ourselves as above reproach and block ourselves with an invisible veil of piousness that makes people in need actually see us as unapproachable.

For us to be able to reach out and enhance human dignity we cannot fail to ensure that those closest to us also portray an inner purity and a sense of humility that is infectious and makes us approachable. More importantly we need to display a leadership quality that inspires, appreciates and understands the emotional and psychological stresses inherent in society and which sometimes engulfs a large number of our citizens.

Ladies and gentlemen, with these qualities let us not be afraid to avail ourselves to positions of leadership. Political leadership is not a sinful, secular preserve that Christian women should shy away from. How better can we change society than take up positions of political leadership? How better can we tackle the scourge of human indignity than to be in responsible positions at all levels of society so we can slowly start a revolution aimed at ridding our society of the dehumanizing conditions brought forth by leadership who preach virtue but practice vice, leadership which claims piety but has no ability to instill discipline, leadership that takes our country no where but backward, leadership that preaches transparency, integrity and corruption, yet steal?

Integrity is not what you do when everyone is watching or in the full glare of the public. Integrity is what you do when no one is watching.

Ladies and gentlemen enhancing human dignity is a journey that requires a lot of hard work and perseverance but where there is a will there is a way and we have no option but to take up the mantle and succeed. Failure is not an option. As the Bible says in 2nd Corinthians 3:17: “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

Thank you once again for the opportunity.




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