THE acting Commissioner of the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Ms Anna Bossman, has explained that she declined the running mate slot of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) because it is her desire to continue serving the country in a non-partisan way.
She said her refusal would in no way curtail the efforts of advocates for the greater participation of women in political power but rather draw the attention of political parties to the Women’s Manifesto launched in the country about four years ago.
The Women’s Manifesto urges parties to build the capacities of women from the grass roots and that is what she believes most political parties have failed to do.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic, Ms Bossman said she was honoured to have been approached to consider the position of running mate of the flag bearer of the CPP, Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, as it meant that some qualities and attributes she possessed might have informed their decision.
She said she had never been partisan, particularly in the performance of her duties at CHRAJ, an institution that required a non-partisan stance.
“Perhaps if I had been a politician or been aligned to any political party, it would have been much easier for me to decide when I was approached,” she added with a smile.
Ms Bossman said although all the political parties were making the “right noises” about their willingness to take women as running mates, they were not actively working to ensure that.
“There is a strategy to be followed, as laid out in the Women’s’ Manifesto, in the preparation and acceptance by women for political positions such as the vice presidential slot,” she stressed, but said that had not been adhered to by any party.
She said if political parties were committed to the greater participation of women, they should have long ago started implementing some of the suggestions in the Women’s Manifesto that included building the capacities of women at all levels.
Ms Bossman said if that had happened, no one would have chosen a woman to run as vice-president but that women themselves would have clamoured for the position.
She was also of the view that it was not for women to aspire to take up only the vice presidential slot but the presidential slot itself.
“All the political parties must go back and look at the Women’s’ Manifesto,” Ms Bossman said.
On the publication in the Monday, September 22, 2008 issue of The Heritage claiming that her refusal was because she was a single mother, Ms Bossman said if she had been thinking about that she would not have even worked at CHRAJ.
She said being a single mother did not in any way affect a woman’s ability to serve in a position, as all it required was the commitment to do a particular job well.
She said she was happy at the moment to be working at CHRAJ and expressed the hope that the activities of CHRAJ would go a long way to entrench the respect of human rights and democracy in the country.
DAILY GRAPHIC, THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 25, 2008, PG 17