Politics

MMDAs asked to strengthen collaboration with CSOs

Metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) have been urged to be more committed to strengthening their collaboration with civil society organisations (CSOs) and other development partners to appoint more women at the local governance level, including assembly and presiding members.

The government should also take necessary action to strengthen, sustain enrolment, retention of girls at all levels of education to expose and empower them to be able to seize opportunities and stand challenges of women’s participation in local level election.

This was contained in a communiqué issued at Tamale at the end of a day’s validation workshop to enable participants from targeted institutions and MMDAs to validate baseline survey on ‘Enhancing women’s participation in district assembly elections in the Northern Region of Ghana’, signed by Executive Director of Rural and Urban Women Associations (RUWA), Masud Aziz Rauf, copied the Ghanaian Times.

The survey, carried out by RUWA with support from Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), observed women face numerous challenges in participation in district level elections, including inadequate finances for women to be able to participate in local politics, inadequate education and pressure on family management.

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 “The central government should issue strict directive to MMDAs to enforce the 1998 Affirmative Action Plan (Quota of 30% District Assembly Appointee to women) to increase women’s participation in local governance and impose sanctions on recalcitrant assemblies.

“The government and other stakeholders should provide scholarship and financial support for females who aspire to go higher on the educational ladder and also those aspiring for district level election, Local Government Service should take measures to review laws and policies on local government to include allocation of resources to promote women participation and representation in local governance,” the communiqué said.

In five district assembly elections held in Ghana- 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010, women’s participation remained low. In the 2002 district level elections, out of 7,700 assembly members of 110 district assemblies, only five per cent were women.

In the light of serious challenges women face in getting to contest elections on level grounds with men, it is imperative vigorous campaign strategies are embarked upon to sensitise and educate men and women on the need for women in the Northern Region to be involved in local governance to be elected to district assemblies.

FROM TIMES REPORTER, TAMALE

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