The Upper West District Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Madam Patience Sally Kumah, has bemoaned the low level of participation of women and Persons Living with Disabilities (PWDs) in the District Level Elections (DLEs) across the country.
According to Madam Kumah, the past elections of the assemblies had shown that only a handful of women and PWDs were either elected or appointed to the District Assemblies saying for instance the highest nationwide percentage of women’s representation over the years was 10 per cent.
Speaking at the Upper West Regional launching of the public sensitisation and awareness raising campaign on the DLE and referendum for amendment of Article 55 (3) of the Constitution here in Wa yesterday, she said it was imperative for nations that were pursuing comprehensive development to create more opportunities for women and PWDs to help bring balance and equity in their development as well as the democratisation processes.
“Let every eligible Ghanaian help whip up interest of the public to encourage more people especially women and persons with disabilities to file their nominations as well as campaign for a massive turnout for the forthcoming DLE and referendum,” she admonished.
Madam Kumah indicated that to promote women and persons with disabilities representation in the district assemblies and unit committees, all socio-cultural barriers must be broken to encourage them to fully participate in the election.
She urged Ghanaians to fully participate in the District Level Elections and the referendum on December 17.
The Regional Minister, Dr Hafiz Bin Salih for his part, stated that the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) held sensitisation forums regarding the election of MMDCs in all the regions as part of processes to make it a reality.
“Now that most of the work has been done by Government, it is up to us citizens to turn out in our members to vote “YES” for the amendment” , he said.
Dr Hafiz Bin Salih indicated that, it was prudent that massive sensitisation was done to further create awareness on the processes involved in the amendment of the Constitution for the election of MMDCEs and for making the DLEs a partisan issue.
He commended the NCCE for constituting a programme that would help to educate the public on the importance of going out to vote and the reason why they should vote “YES” for the amendment and urged the youth to spread the news to boost voter turnout.
The Electoral Commission (EC), Information Service Department (ISD), National Association of Local Authorities (NALAA), representatives of civil societies as well as political parties and other organisations graced the occasion.
FROM LYDIA FORDJOUR AND RAFIA ABDUL-RAZAK, WA