President of the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), Joseph Agbezuke, has described a decision by Sanitation Minister, Cecilia Dapaah to decline an interview with an Adom FM intern and student of the Ghana Institute of Journalism as an affront to women empowerment in the country.
Rahinatu Abdul Bach was reportedly declined an interview with the Sanitation Minister on the basis of her status as an ‘intern’ at the Kokomlemle based radio station. She had been directed by her editor, Samuel Dowuna, to get the ministry’s reaction on littering by some defiant citizens in the capital, Accra, and whether or not such persons deserved to clean the streets as punishment for the said crime.
But the Minister reportedly took offence to a ‘mere intern’ calling her, ‘a whole minister’, for such an interview thus, hung up.
Commenting on the issue in an interview with The Ghana Report, The SRC President of the GIJ suggests some interns are more knowledgeable than most reporters who have been on the field for a relatively longer period hence the Minister’s argument of wanting a more experienced reporter to handle the interview is erroneous.
He said the posturing of the Minister and other senior public officials, instead of helping interns get the needed hands on training, will deter many from engaging such persons. He makes the point that action by the Sanitation Minister will instill fear in prospective interns, particularly female interns, thereby killing the drive for female empowerment at that rather important stage in life.
“As women fighting and pushing for equality, this should not be the reaction in response to your fellow woman or young daughter call for an interview”, he said.
Mr. Agbezuke is therefore asking the Ministers in question and other public officials to be more welcoming and tolerant to all manner of people irrespective of their background.