Ras Mubarak, Member of Parliament (MP) for Kumbungu in the Northern Region, has appealed to parliament and political parties to adopt the gender quota system in favour of females to increase women representation in the legislature.
According to him, “We can learn from the examples of Rwanda, which has the highest number of female MPs in the world; it has 61.3 per cent female MPs in the Lower Chamber and 38.5 per cent in the Senate.”
Ras Mubarak, in a statement on the floor of Parliament, noted that “the issue of female under-representation in parliament is a national challenge that must not be swept under the carpet since currently, the nation’s parliament has a total of 275 members, of which 236 are male MPs and the rest, 39 are females.”
Ras Mubarak explained that in “Latin America, there are as many as 14 countries that have “legalised gender quota” system for their parliaments,” and mentioned Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.
“We stand risk of waking up one day to an all-male parliament, if the country does not act, because others have taken action and succeeded, and to give proper meaning to our democracy and justice, there is the need to build a fairer society; it seems unjust in a 275- member chamber, only 39 are females.
“We need not to be at forefront of encouraging women to stand for elections, but have positive discrimination strategies in place by all political parties, and have no record of official discrimination against female candidates by political parties, but women are however, not putting themselves up to contest elections.
“The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye, need not only conduct research into why females do not put themselves up for public office, but also send MPs and young parliamentarian caucus among others to countries like Norway to learn about their gender quota system in selecting female MPs,” Ras Mubarak stressed.
Patrick Boamah, MP for Okaikoi Central, in the Greater Accra Region, in a comment, noted that women could occupy other equally important positions and not just parliament.
Helen Ntoso, MP for Krachi West in the Oti Region, in her contribution, stated that Ghana was among the countries that signed unto the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals, in order to achieve gender equality. –gna.org