Gender advocates across the country have pledged their support for Mrs Charlotte Ama Osei, the newly appointed Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC).
“The political will and capacity to appoint a personality with years of legal background, politically neutral, civic educator, and an accomplished manager as a chair of the Electoral Commission is a plus to Ghana’s democratic credentials,” Ms Dolphin Lariba Nabila, Executive Director of Legal Resources Centre, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview.
Ms Nabila noted that Ghana has set another record in creating an enabling environment for gender empowerment, and called on all political parties to support the new EC boss.
“Democratic governance and electoral management is a shared responsibility among stakeholders. We must all play our part effectively to ensure that Ghana strengthens the pillars of democratic governance not only in Ghana but Africa,” she noted.
“We must support state institutions, to reduce the vilification and personality attacks which seek to undermine governance and state institutions.”
Ms Nabila noted that a comprehensive approach is needed to increase women’s participation in power and decision-making.
“Greater efforts are needed to support women’s political participation through capacity building, training and dedicated gender equality,” she said.
Ghana Women Agenda 2030, which emanated from United Nations Women Agenda 2030, is calling for measures to ensure that 50 per cent of vice-chancellors and university professors must be women.
Women should also take about 60 per cent of state corporation chief executive officer positions, Ghana Club 100 chief executive officers and bank chief executives.
The Ghana Women 2030 reinvigorated Beijing Declaration was christened at the recent 59th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women at New York incidentally by Mrs Charlotte Ama Osei, the outgoing Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) at Ghana’s side event.
The Ghana Women Agenda 2030 target also aims at 60 per cent of Parliamentary seats, 60 per cent of metropolitan, municipal and district chief executive posts; and 60 per cent of assembly and unit committee members.
Agenda 2030 also wants Ghana to have a female President or Vice President by 2030.
Nana Oye Lithur, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection called on state institutions, governmental and non-governmental bodies to give the Agenda 2030 the necessary support.
She said Agenda 2030 is not a fight against men or struggle to dislodge men from any position, but “the importance of women’s equal participation in decision-making as a means of achieving transparent and accountable government and administration for sustainable development.”
Nana Lithur, a seasoned Gender Advocate noted that Agenda 2030 acknowledges that despite the steady increase in women’s political representation and participation in parliament, a significant number of them are under-represented at the highest levels of political participation and across the public and private sectors.
The Gender Minister explained that the persistence of discrimination, gender bias, and the threat of violence, harassment and intimidation in political institutions contribute to the low levels of women’s political participation.
She said the UN is therefore calling on governments to take measures to ensure women’s equal access to, and full participation in, power structures and decision-making, and increase women’s capacity to participate in decision-making and leadership.
President John Dramani Mahama in consultation with the Council of State appointed Mrs Osei as the new chair of the EC.
Mrs Osei takes over from Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan after a long and accomplished electoral administration in Ghana.