Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, Former First Lady on Wednesday said the 31st December Revolution went a long way to change the plight of women in the country.
She said since independence women had been used by men to attain their political aspirations after which they were left out of the political administration. Mrs Rawlings who is also the President of 31st December Women's Movement (DWM) was contributing to a public lecture organised by Cadres of the Revolution to commemorate its 30th Anniversary in Accra.
The lecture was on the aniversary theme: “Three decades of grassroots participation: Its relevance to current political dispensation”.
Nana Konadu, who spoke on the topic: “The role of Ghanaian women in the 31st December Revolution”, said by December 31, 1981 Ghana had been classified as a collapsed State.
She said the state of affairs in the country at the time was nothing to write home about because bribery and corruption was rife in the country, extortion, profiteering and “kalabule”.
Nana Konadu said many doctors, teachers and other professionals left the shores of Ghana not for greener pastures per say but for survival because there was extreme frustration in the system.
She noted that the DWM used a multifaceted approach to champion the cause of women across the country, and worked closely with Workers Defence Committees (WDC’s) in the Regions and districts to venture into farming where they cultivated cereals and other crops.
Nana Konadu said despite the negative perception about the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) administration it was the most lawful government the country had ever had, a government that helped to enact laws to protect the rights of women, widows, children, marriage and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
Mr Samuel Nuamah Donkor, Former Minister of Health during President Rawlings administration urged political office holders to be careful when given position of trust.
He said before the Revolution, the health delivery system in the country was in a sordid state with most patients having to bring their own medication and other supplies to the hospital to be treated.
Mr Nuamah Donkor said most doctors out of frustration left the country to seek greener pastures outside and to look for job satisfaction.
He said the cost recovery which the PNDC introduced in the health sector was to make drugs available at the hospitals so that patients could easily be treated, however, this was given a wrong nomenclature as cash and carry.
Mr Nuamah Donkor said despite the wrong classification of the health sector, the availability of drugs at the country’s hospital increased from five per cent to 95 percent by 1996 and the funds generated from the cash and carry system were put in a revolving fund to operate the various hospitals and support the vulnerable in society who could not afford the high cost of medical services.
He said before the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Government left office in 2000 it was able to build regional hospitals in Cape coast, Ho and Sunyani.
Mr Naburu Berrick, Former Member of Parliament for Burupungu Yunyoo, who also narrated the poor situation of the Ghanaian economy at the time, said traveling from the North to Accra was terrible and could take about three days.
He said for a person to call someone outside Ghana, the person had to book for the phone for a week before the call could go through.
Mr Berrick said the entire northern Ghana did not have electricity and what they had were old generators which worked for only few weeks. He said establishment of the PNDC Government in 1982 helped in arresting the hopeless economic situation at the time.
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