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Georgina Wood, And The Women Who Rose
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Chief Justice Georgina Wood
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Last weekend my daughter and I had a weird WhatsApp conversation. As I sat through the funeral of the late Kofi Taylor, I informed Abena, that I was feeling very sad and worried about how my end would be; the world has become too uncertain, and too cruel.

I am young, so I cannot lay claim to too many experiences, but even in my youthfulness, I have witnessed so much display of human wickedness, I have seen so much pain visited on human lives, mortals who instantly transforms into immortals once they gained power, and they use the powers we would have given them as platforms to kill others for self gratification, these are some of the things that makes life too uncertain.

But life must go on. Sometimes I am inspired by ordinary lives of triumph. I get humbled by little unnoticed actions that never expire, poor farmers who never lose hope in planting crops to feed the rich, poor fishermen who continue to fish in vain, in the empty sea, in order to put food on the tables of men, pregnant women who are not afraid to go into labor despite all the poor health care delivery services; these are all brave people who are hardly noticed, but who keep going despite the fact that we are ungrateful to them.

There are challenges of raising boys, but for someone who has raised both boys and girls, I have come to appreciate the differences in the challenges of raising girls.

The challenges are not because they are born girls, the challenges are because society has imposed so many injunctions on the progress of women, that a father is virtually forced to comply with certain gender related circumstances that makes life somewhat complicated.

These same challenges have brought significant sympathy and support for women. A lot of governments are reserving some quotas for women in positions of authority, others are appointing women in hitherto positions occupied by men, a lot of programs are being implemented to address the issue of maternal mortality, and in some countries special support is being provided for women with gender-related mental health challenges.

That is why I am pleased that Ghana has taken steps to inspire women into superior roles. Ghana is 60 years old, and we have had very strong women in our governance system, the likes of the lates Grace Coleman, Mary Grant, Hawa Yakubu Ogede, and many more, who have rocked our Parliament, and we have had the likes of Kate Quartey-Papafio of Reroy Cables Ltd, the late Mrs Ester Ocloo of Nkulenu Industries, who have achieved great feats in business.

One of the inspiring moments I have had has been when Professor Florence Dolphyne became the first female to be elected as a Pro Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana; it was an uncharted path for our country.

As a student of Theater Arts, I heard of Efua Theodora Sutherland whose sterling efforts seem fairly recognized, to the extent that the Efua Sutherland School of Performing Arts at the University of Ghana, and the Efua Sutherland Children’s park, have both been named after her.

Efua Sutherland was a foremost Ghanaian woman playwright, director, children's author, poet and dramatist. She wrote plays such as Foriwa, Edufa, and The Marriage of Anansewa. Efua founded the Ghana Society of Writers, Ghana Drama Studio, Afram Publications, and several pioneering establishments. She could easily be said to be the mother of Ghana’s modern theater.

I heard names such as the now late Professor Marian Ewurama Addy, one of a few female Natural Scientists of her time, Professor Ama Ata Aidoo, a distinguished literalist (who I have no doubt might have taken inspiration from Efua Sutherland), and Professor Akua Kuenyehia, one of only three African judges to be on the International Criminal Courts.

Subsequently we have had the first female Vice Chancellor of any public University, in the person of Professor Jeane Naana Opoku Agyemang, we have had the first female Speaker of Parliament, Right Honorable Joyce Bamford-Addo, we have had the first female Electoral Commissioner, Mrs Charlotte Osei, and currently we have had our first female Chief of Staff in the person of Honorable Frema Osei Opare.

In all of these I have never overcome the trauma of learning that there was in this country one nursing mother, Mrs Cecelia Koranteng-Addow, who was murdered in cold blood.

I might have been too young to know what happened, but I have always avoided being able to read this story whenever I have encountered it in any literature, that we, as a country, superintended over the killing of a woman, that we took her away while she was nursing her baby, and we slaughtered her in cold blood; eiiii Ghana, we have done some oo.

May the screaming soul of this woman continue to unsettle us until justice is served on our conscience, and those who know the truth but are still hiding from it, may they continue to be judged by history till eternity kills them.

That is not to belittle the killing of the men judges with her. But I will like to appreciate the special circumstance under which a breast-feeding mother was snatched away from the love of her baby, and the baby cried while the mother was going through the knife, the moment of giving up the ghost might have been goring indeed, but finally, done, a nursing mother was slaughtered.

In my village you are not allowed to slaughter a pregnant goat, neither are you allowed to kill a goat which is nursing. For whatever reason, it is seen as a terrible omen if a pregnant or a nursing human mother dies, and so when such situations arise, there are several taboo rites performed to avert re-occurrence.

In so many jurisdictions, pregnant and nursing mothers are never imprisoned. They are usually given suspended sentences, no matter the gravity of their crimes. But in the case of Ghana, we were brave enough; we killed a maternity woman, just so that we could cover up the crimes that we had committed previously.

I am not a tongue-speaking person, but I have always said some words of prayer for our current Chief Justice, Mrs Georgina Theodore Wood. I have never met her in person, but I know that God has been good to her. Trust me, there are still the likes of Amedekas and their faceless accomplices in our society who, given the chance, would have murdered this woman several years back.

At the heights of the Montie FM rampage, I listened to Salifu Maase brought this woman down, so low, that I felt the same way in the gutters with her.

She was trashed and trampled upon at the full glare of our president. That spectacle, to me, was the lowest point in our democratic history. It was shameful, and it was primitive, and all those who had anything to do with the pardon that happened looked dirty in my mind. The president’s action, to free them, was worst than a coup d’état.

I had read between the lines that the agenda was to force Georgina Wood out, that by exerting pressure on her, she would have resigned voluntarily, to the pleasure of the governors.

By refusing to step down, Georgina Wood earned herself an unlimited respect, and she proved that Ghana is 60 years old, and that when a woman lives, the world lives. As an old student of Wesley Girls High School, she has brought honor to the young girls of the school, she is the reason why Ghana could have a female president in the likes of Zenator Rawlings.

I still cannot get it, how we allowed toddlers to assassinate the character of our Chief Justice, we elevated her assassins, we freed Ako Gunn, we freed Salifu Maase, and we freed Alistair Nelson, after they had threatened her with rape and death.

We did not learn any lessons from what happened to Justice Koranteng-Addow. That incident did not inspire us to give higher punishment to those rotten minds. Rather we freed the lunatics to humiliate the only female Chief Justice we have had, and we put them on our campaign platforms, to campaign for us, and to get us more votes. We rewarded some of them with ministerial appointments; such cruel and sarcastic gesture, my brother…

I had never prayed such hard to see a President lose an election. I thought the only vengeance left on the side of Georgina Wood was the loss the president will have to suffer in the 2016 elections. So even though the Woyome scandal was my deciding vote, the shameful acts on Georgina Wood added passion to me seeing the NDC’s back on the ground, and what a way to have done it, over one million votes in a comfortable lead…
Source: James Kofi Annan/ email: [email protected]

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