Increase parliamentary seats to encourage women empowerment – Minority

Mr Iddrisu

Mr Iddrisu

The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, has suggested that the number of seats in Parliament increased from 275 to 300, with a reserved number of 25 seats for women.

According to him, “the extra 25 seats should reflect the size and strength of the political parties in parliament and will help encourage women empowerment in the country and currently, there are 37 women Members of Parliament (MPs).

Mr Iddrisu, who is the MP for Tamale South made the suggestion as part of deliberations on women in politics in parliament.

“Today, we have 275 seats in Parliament, we can decide we want to add an additional 25 and dedicate it to only women and decide the 25 reflects the size and strength of the political parties in parliament and our parliament is still far from the 30 per cent mark set by the United Nations for women representation.

“We have made some marginal progress in recent times, with the 2016 elections increasing the number of elected women from 30, representing 10.9 per cent, in 2012, to 37, representing 13.5 per cent and in 2000, the representation of women in parliament was 9.5 per cent, 10.8 per cent.

“In 2004, 9.3 per cent in 2006 and as of June 2016 only 22.8 per cent of all national parliamentarians were women, a slow increase from 11.3 per cent in 1995, as of January 2017, only 18.3 per cent of government ministers were women,” Mr Iddrisu stressed.

As of June 2017, only two countries had been noted to have 50 per cent or more women in parliament in single or lower houses, that is Rwanda with 61.3 per cent, and Bolivia with 53.1 per cent, nonetheless, a greater number of countries have reached 30 per cent or more.

The UN also notes that the most commonly held portfolios held by women ministers are in environment, natural resources, and energy, followed by social sectors, such as social affairs, education and the family.

The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye, commenting on the issue noted that the country must adopt measures to increase participation of women in politics and affirmative action could be used to catch up with the agenda of all-inclusive government.

“The worldwide ranking of women participation in governance which pegged Ghana at the 143rd position out of 193 countries surveyed,” he said. –

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