‘Encourage women to participate in district level elections’

The Eastern Regional Minister, Eric Kwakye Darfour, has urged stakeholders in electoral processes to put in place appropriate policies, programmes, activities and legislations that will bring social change and attract more women into local governance.

“Women involvement in the decision making processes is very critical not only because they constitute the majority of the population in the country but they are most often discriminated against and under-represented in the socio-economic and political activities of the country,” he intimated.

This was made known in an address read on his behalf by Ms Comfort Asante, the New Juaben North Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), at a national sensitisation effort to encourage more women to participate in the district assembly elections.

The programme was organised by the Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS), National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG) and the Inter-Ministerial Coordinating Committee (IMCC) on decentralisation.

Mr Darfour asked NALAG, non-governmental organisations and political parties to initiate programmes and activities to empower aspiring women assembly members and ensure a massive participation in local governance and appealed to women to engage in economic generation activities and aid in the nation building and cohesion efforts.

“Parents must take advantage of the Free Senior High School policy and enroll their wards so that they can acquire knowledge and skills needed for the growth and development of the society,” he noted.

 Evelyn Danso, Second Vice President of NALAG, expressed worry that only two females were selected amongst the National Executive Committee of NALAG which had 16 members and advised their male counterparts to “support and assist women to attain higher heights as their contributions to the nation’s growth and development cannot be understated”.

Available statistics indicate that since 1994, none of the district assembly elections in the country has recorded the participation of more than 10 per cent women, out of a total number of 4,204 elected members of the Assembly, only 122 representing 2.9 per cent were women, only 11 women were appointed as district chief executives in 2013, and in the 2015 Assembly elections,   1,182 women participated compared to 17,756 men. -GNA

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