‘Marginal progress made in women’s presence in parliament’

Ekow Hayford, the Member of Parliament for Mfantseman in the Central Region, has expressed worry that the legislative arm of the government has still been unable to reach the 30 per cent mark set by the United Nations.

He noted that the proportion of women in parliament was still 10 per cent of total membership of the House.

In a statement, Mr Hayford said women representation had become a very pressing issue in the international domain for a long time. From the inception of the Fourth Republic, women representation in parliament has been low.

“Ghana made marginal progress in the 2016 elections increasing number of elected women from 30 (10.9%) in 2012 to 37 (13.5%), but still less half of the 30 per cent threshold. Women’s participation in legislature continues to be of debate in society, despite struggles and salient roles they play in sustaining democracy.

“The strong male presence in political life, which formulate the rules of engagement, define standards of evaluation, limited financial support from political parties, limited access to political networks, stringent standards of qualifications applied to women discourage active participation in the political process.

“Lack of access to education, training for women’s leadership, orienting women towards political life, nature of the electoral system not favourable to women, socio-economic challenges, ideological, psychological, cultural, predetermined social  assigned roles and lack of confidence to contest elections.”

“These has jarred confidence in ability to participate in political process, political parties should present more women in their strongholds to contest parliamentary election, adoption of seats-at-large through constitutional reforms, setting up of mechanism to act as wheel for deliberation and advancement of women empowerment.”

“Parliament should also endeavour to build capacity of its members through training initiatives aimed at equipping them with skills on policy, managing, working, rank the needs of women, give equal opportunities, take up leadership responsibilities that will increase their participation in parliament and society as a whole,” Mr Hayford indicated. -GNA

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