Barbara Oteng-Gyasi: inspired to deliver for constituents
One of the new faces in Parliament is Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, the NPP Member of Parliament for Prestea-Huni Valley, who has resolved to “work for her people” who elected her to the legislature.
The newbie to Parliament says she is determined more than ever to make a mark in the legislature so that posterity would applaud her efforts. “I want to contribute my quota, as a legislator your first responsibility is to make sure that we make laws that are useful and beneficial to the citizens of the country.
So I am going to contribute my quota, participate in the debate effectively and ensure that the laws that we pass are useful for us, especially for the women and children.
Currently we have a lot of bills which are pending in Parliament, which have to do with women and children issue and because our representation in Parliament is so low, those bills have pending for a long time,so we are coming to push for it to ensure that those bills are passed into law,” she says,
According to her, she will go the full hog to lobby for the interests of her constituents, because the area she represents has a lot of resources but the deprivation remains high.
“We need to do something about it, so I am going to talk to those who matter and ensure that we also get our due. My constituents have entrusted all their hope, everything in me, that is why they elected me, they believe that as a lawyer I will be a good representative for them. I am going to do that for them and I am going to lobby to ensure we get what we deserve.” she adds.
On her first day in Parliament, Mrs Oteng-Gyasi intimated that she found the proceedings interesting and looking forward to a productive tenure as a legislature.
Most importantly also, she doffed her hats off to the new speaker of Parliament, Mike Aaron Oquaye, whom she praised for his resolve to champion women’s course in Parliament.
She was also hopeful in the future the disparity of more men in Parliament will be resolved so that there will be 50 – 50 for both sides.
“I was particularly enthused about the speech delivered by the Speaker, he touched on a number of issues, but of particular interest to me was the fact of participation of women being very low and his resolve to do something about it and so he is going to support the women in Parliament to do well and through that hopefully it will encourage more women to participate and get women elected to increase our representation in Parliament.
So I am very happy that we have such a speaker who is going to support us. And in the future I believe that representation is going to go about 50-50” she says.
Another important issue she would want to tackle is the rate of teenage pregnancy which is quite alarming in the constituency and can be addressed by focusing the attention of the girls on education.
She pointed out, “We need a lot more girls to be in school and become educated to help improve the situation of their families and indeed, the communities and the nation.”