I’m Ready To Partner Mills If…
I’m Ready To Partner Mills If… Website
One of the women whose name has come up for consideration, in the search for the running-mate for Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, Mrs. Betty Mould Iddrisu, Director of Legal and Constitutional Affairs Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat, says she is ready to take up the mantle of leadership, as the first women vice-president, if she is appointed by the party. According to the Director, the time had come to introduce issues about women and gender equality into the mainstream of our body politics, in order to engender policies and governance that would bring about the needed change in our society. Mrs. Iddrisu, who is described as one of the female activists, who championed the cause of women’s rights in the country, in the early 90s, observed that even though a lot of things have changed within the past years, with respect to women’s involvement in politics, for the issue of a woman vice-president to have come up for discussion, is something Ghanaians must be proud of. Interacting with a cross-section of the media, in Kumasi, the former chairperson for the International Federation for Women Lawyers (FIDA), and co-founder of the African Women Lawyers Association (AWLA), believes that policy change comes from the top, and the only way to bring or help change the perception and influence policy making, is for a woman to occupy the highest position on the political pedestal. “I want to fight to the top, so that I can champion many causes on behalf of women, and change the negative attitudes militating against women in the society,” she stated. While admitting that there are equally competent people in the NDC, who are also fit to be appointed as the running-mate for the party’s flagbearer, Mrs. Iddrisu said the selection of a running-mate should be seen as in the light of affirmative action, not a form of tokenism, and should be based on competence and one’s ability to perform adding, “I believe I am more than qualified for the running mate position or as a vice-president.” She stated that she had acquired vast experience, through her work in various capacities in Legal Administration, and having also spearheaded the empowerment of women, through grassroots programmes, in the areas of access to justice, judicial reform and dispute resolution in several African countries. Some of the highlights in her years at the Commonwealth Secretariat, include overseeing implementation of mandates in the area of transnational crime, counter-terrorism and international humanitarian, and was also responsible for overseeing the secretariat’s programs on anti-corruption, asset recovery and judicial ethics. On ensuring violence-free elections, come December this year, Mrs. Iddrisu underscored the need for the independence of the media, adding Kenya was currently embroiled in violence, because the media compromised its objectivity, and went to bed with the government, shortly after the 2007 elections. She, however, noted that the media in the country must play their watchdog role and act as the Fourth Estate of the realm, in order to hold the government accountable to the people, and also present the public with the opportunity to make informed decisions. Adding the press must be ready to protect the integrity of the country and its democratic principles. She, however, promised to work towards ensuring an NDC victory, in this year’s election, if she did not get the nod.