Business in Ghana

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Ghanaians Obsessed With Negativity: The Pull-Her-Down Syndrome

Posted by Business in Ghana on June 30, 2012

Posted by Georgette Dede Djaba, Legal Eagle

Dynamic, smart and independent women who speak up and challenge the status quo are frowned upon by their communities and ostracised as bad women who do not know their place.  Several Ghanaians who do not want to be associated with this condemned behaviour,  withhold their support and lash out at those they perceive as bringing good women into disrepute. This is most unfortunate, backward and primitive.

What is it about the “pull-her-down” syndrome that sees several of our sisters and brothers at home and in the diaspora not supporting and celebrating each other’s achievements and successes? Why is it that despite gender equality being high on the national agenda of most countries when a woman finds her way to the top other women do very little to support her?  Is there common agreement amongst women that we should be supportive of each other merely because we are biologically similar?  Some compete against each other.

The backbiting is phenomenal. It is the same the world over. It is discrimination against women. It impedes progress. There remains an acute shortage of women in key decision-making positions. This begs the question:  Are women responsible for their own plight?

Yes.  This is because many prefer to stay in their cocoons and do what they have always done since time immemorial – support men. They refuse to acknowledge that they can change their realities by recognising their own self-worth, and challenging the damage that their socialisation has done to them.

Men head households, the church and occupy key positions in society even when the women are bread-winners. Women who speak up and challenge the status quo are frowned upon by their communities and ostracised as “bad women who don’t know their place.”

Civic education is essential if we are to challenge the stereotypes and assumptions about appropriate behaviour for men and women. Unless this happens, each gender will remain confined to the narrow roles assigned to them by society.

We should not assume that because there are a few more women in decision-making positions the rest will come easy. While a critical mass of women is important to effect change what is also necessary is that they actively contribute towards challenging the status quo.

Why would Ghanaians pull each other down? According to Kofi Akosah-Sarpong,  “because of certain elements within their culture that make them allergic to one attempting to progress. It runs from within the family to the larger society and to the national level. It weakens civic virtues and makes nonsense of Africans’ culture of communalism. Who made the culture? Africans themselves, shaped by their mindset via ethnic hatred or tribalism and its ensuing mistrust.”

The Pull Her Down disease has seen West Africa top the rest of Africa in poverty, coup d’état, communal violence, corruption, crime, and general insecurities. The Pull Her Down syndrome, a moral disorder, reveals the dark and troubled innate drives of our people—a people allergic to light, to progress, to development. The Pull Her Down syndrome reveals the African’s stupidity and weaknesses. The Pull Her Down disorder has sustained the negative juju-marabou and witchcraft culture and shows our unhelpful nature. How can a people be so obsessed with such negativity? Because they love it and because it is in their nature, formed by the culture they have constructed.” [K.A. Sarpong.]  The Pull Her Down syndrome has to cease if we want to progress as a nation.  It is self-destructive.

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