Quick Hit: Joyce Bamford Addo Breaks Glass Ceiling in Ghana

After a long wait, requiring a lot of equanimity and patience, Mrs. Joyce Bamford Addo has just been appointed the third most powerful person in Ghana: Speaker of the 230 member of the 5th parliament of the 4th Republic. In more simple terms, she will be the first woman in the West African sub-region to hold such an honor, joining Betty Boothroyed in the UK and Nancy Pelosi of the US worldwide.
The coverage of her appointment on allAfrica.com, by the way, is sexist hilarity:

She retired to become an active grand mother superintending over her grand-children from her five children, who are in their late 30s. She was once married to one Mr. Abankwa, with whom she had three children and then the late Major General Addo, who also died a few years ago.
Sources who know her, say she is not a brainstorming Justice Kpegah look-alike, in terms of temperament, but a generally fair minded person, a lady who takes time to dust her nose and apply mascara delicately, before she goes to court. Apart from playing grandma, she now reads and occasional writes, until this unexpected job as the third most powerful person in the land.

Next time I’m “dusting my nose” I’ll think of ol’ Grandma Addo.
Thanks to the Women’s Media Center for the heads up.

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5 Comments

  1. Ishtar
    Posted January 9, 2009 at 2:28 am | Permalink

    Also joining Frene Ginwala, former Speaker of the National Assembly in South Africa. Her successor, Baleka Mbete is now Deputy President of the country. The current Speaker and Deputy Speaker are both women: Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde and Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge. :-)

  2. AndersH
    Posted January 9, 2009 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    I also reacted to the “joining…” comment, as I first made the connection that those were previously the only two who had been Speakers in any country previously, which is clearly not correct. I realised quite quickly that it was just referring to active Speakers, but it threw me for a bit of a loop.

  3. Ishtar
    Posted January 9, 2009 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    I was also thrown for a loop at first but I decided to add to the list any way as I thought it was interesting, especially that our Speaker and Deputy Speaker are both women. An interesting addition to that is that both our current and former Deputy Presidents are women.

  4. leah
    Posted January 9, 2009 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Actually Betty Boothroyd isn’t the current speaker in the UK. It’s Michael Martin. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betty_Boothroyd
    So glad Joyce applies her mascara delicately. It would be such a shame if she just slapped it on there… ;-)

  5. Ishtar
    Posted January 12, 2009 at 2:52 am | Permalink

    LOL…thank you for making me laugh this morning with the mascara comment.

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