Increase women in governance to address gender equity — POWA

Ms. Hamah

Ms. Hamah

Ms Victoria Hamah, the Executive Director of the Progressive Organisation for Women Advancement (POWA), has advocated for more women representation in the country’s political discourse for the attainment of gender equity.

She expressed concern about the sharp decline in women representation in government and Parliament at the 2016 general elections, adding that the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill would help address the pitfalls.

“The passage of the Affirmative Action Bill will bring women to the forefront of national life, particularly politics, and also signify a commitment towards social justice, political and economic democracy,” she stressed.

Ms Hamah made the call at the inaugural POWA forum on the topic: ‘Why there are fewer women in politics.’

The forum to be held quarterly is aimed at creating a national consensus to achieve gender equity by placing the issue at the centre of national political dialogue.

The forum seeks to create a platform for stakeholders from all walks of life to discuss issues on women empowerment and lay emphasis on elective and representative politics as means of sparking the deeper and broader issues of gender equity.

Ms Hamah observed that the Affirmative Action Bill provided the space for social education and re-thinking as well as contribute in reshaping the public psyche about the potential of women in all spheres of life.

“It will motivate more women to stand up to the challenge of engaging in active public life, despite the cultural and social barriers, inspired by the example and experiences of other women,” she stressed.

Ms Hamah explained that there were fewer women in politics today not because of social and cultural barriers but due to the indifference of national leadership to women rights issues which had been place in the periphery of national life.

She noted that the progress and status of women was linked with the broad aspirations of all the ordinary and marginalised people in the country, stating that “women have special needs and their condition at any time is the most accurate measure of national progress.

“Women empowerment has no substitute since we are the bedrock of the families, our communities and our nation,” she said.

Ms Hamah noted that initiatives were at the expense of the struggle for greater inclusiveness of women in decision making process of the country and called on women to get involved in active participation in national politics. -GNA

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