Northern Ghana women in national politics: Biographies of Lydia Akanbodiipo and Catherine Tedam

  • CI Abagre


Although in recent time, a few works are appearing on the publishing scene on women's experiences in politics, education, workplace, economy and education, these focus largely of the broad experiences of women. Such works hardly cater to the differentiated locations and spaces of Ghanaian women beyond the situational and occupational divides. These works have hardly given voice to individualized stories or moved beyond the aggregated and universalizing themes that continue to diminish particular experiences. In particular, works on the life-stories of Ghanaian women have been rare. Where they have been told, like in the case of Doplynne and Ardayfio-Schandorf, they have hardly included those of northern Ghanaian women. This bibliographical essay is an attempt, a starting point, to address the gaps in the life-stories of northern Ghanaian women. It looks at the lives of two past politicians, Madam Lydia Akanbodiipo and Madam Catherin Tedam, who rose from humble beginnings in the Upper East Region, then the Upper East Region, to become key actors in national politics. These seemingly forgotten women, who both started as teachers, rose to become the only women parliamentarians during their time, the Second Republic. Although in parliament in the same era, they sat on opposing sides of the legislature, one in the ruling party with the other in opposition. The sharing of their stories has been possible through interviews, conversations and the limited documentation on them. Although material has been scarce, it is intended that the re/presentation here will create space for deeper and broader sharing on their and other life-stories.

Keywords: Politics, Women Parliamentarians, Life-story, Biographies, Political Party

Studies in Gender and Development in Africa Vol. 1 (1) 2007: pp. 132-139

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eISSN: 0855-9449