Monday, October 27, 2014

“Stop Downgrading Yourselves” –Unionist Implores Women

Ms Felicia Kraja

The Northern Regional Industrial Relations Officer of the Public Service Workers Union (PSWU) of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) Felicia Kraja, has called on Ghanaian women particularly those in the labour unions to “stop downgrading themselves” and compete for enviable positions.

According to Ms Kraja, the lack of confidence and the fear of being a failure are largely the reasons responsible for women not taking up leadership positions in the various unions, and thereby also contributing to the low representation of women at decision making levels.

“Some women are worth more than they think they’re…when they can come out of that shell….when they can feel deep within them that I am beyond what I think I am, then they will be able to perform wherever they go” Ms Kraja said this at a workshop of the Women’s Committee of the PSWU of the TUC in Tamale. 

She vehemently encouraged women in the various labour unions in Ghana to take time off their busy schedules and develop serious interest in labour matters as well as partake in elections in order to bring dynamism into the activities of labour unions which have mainly been male driven over the years.

Ghana has several labour unions which include the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU), Health Services Workers Union (HSWU), Government and Hospital Pharmacists Association of Ghana (GHOSPA), General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU), PSWU, Civil and Local Government Staff Association of Ghana (CLOGSAG) and the Ghana Medical Association (GMA).

The rest are the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG), University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Teachers and Education Workers Union (TEWU), Federation of Universities Senior Staff Associations of Ghana (FUSSAG) and the Ghana Registered Nurses Association (GRNA) among others.

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Sadly, leadership positions in most of these unions over the years have largely been occupied by men with just a handful of women serving as deputies or treasurers. Even in the mother union, TUC – a greater percentage of leadership positions are occupied by men and this is in contrast with the over 50 percent of women constituting the total work force of the country.

It is against this background that, the meeting of the PSWU in Tamale was held with an objective to whip up the interest of women trade unionists in the various labour unions to be bold to take up leadership positions at the regional and national levels.

Meanwhile, Member of the National Trustee of the PSWU Fati Seidu Tamboro charged women in the Union to be hungry for knowledge acquisition as well as build their capacities for certain tasks in their life in future.

“Enough of the telenovella and other things that will only waste your time. If you spend so much time on that, your husband will perceive you to be a lazy person and will not take you serious. However, when you educate yourself, build your capacity and you earn a good position and good salary, your husband will respect you and hold you in high esteem,” Ms Tamboro advised.

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