Convenors of the Women’s Manifesto, a political document highlighting critical concerns of women in Ghana, have appealed to the electorate to vote for female parliamentary aspirants contesting in the upcoming general elections to ensure gender equality in the next parliament.
The Convenor, Mrs. Hamida Harrison who made the call at the opening ceremony of a training workshop, said women’s representation in parliament was not encouraging hence the need for the electorate to support them.
The workshop, on the theme, ‘Women inclusiveness and peace in Elections 2016’, was organised by ABANTU for Development and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.
Mrs. Harrison said more work needed to be done to ensure gender equality due to the marginalisation of women on policy-making platforms such as parliament.
She said stakeholders, especially political parties, should be concerned about the low representation of women in decision-making since that hindered the practice of Ghana’s democracy.
‘We are practising a democratic dispensation which requires that men and women are given an equal chance, but the low representation of women is not encouraging.’
“Global studies have all proven that countries which exclude women in their governance, especially decision-making, face economic challenges,” she said.
Mrs. Harrison noted Ghana had signed to so many international treaties which included the United Nations recommendation that mandates each member state to include at least 30 per cent of women in its decision making which Ghana is yet to achieve.
“Currently, we have less than 11 per cent of female representatives in parliament whilst the Affirmative Action bill that was legislated in the 60s by the late Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah to have adequate number of women in parliament is still struggling to be passed into law,” she said.
A Director In-Charge of Gender and Social Protection at the Ministry of Children, Gender and Social Protection, Dr. Comfort Asare said the ministry was rolling up programmes to support female parliamentary candidates in the upcoming general elections.
She said among the programmes include educating the electorate on the importance of voting women into parliament to take active role in national issues.
From Bernard Benghan, Dodowa