Speaker pushes for increase in women participation in politics

Prof. Oquaye

Prof. Oquaye

Right Reverend Professor Aaron Oquaye, the Speaker of Parliament has stressed the need to adopt measures to increase participation of women in politics.

He explained that affirmative action could be one of the ways to increase women participation in politics for the country to catch up with the agenda of all-inclusive government.

Prof. Oquaye was speaking in Accra at an Alumni Lecture by the University of Ghana as part of its 70th anniversary celebration.

It was on the theme: ‘Strengthening democracy and good governance in contemporary Ghana: Some challenges’.

Prof. Oquaye noted that “affirmative action is an instrument of social engineering to cater for some wrong done by society that needs to be corrected. It is the essence of law making which is an instrument of mischief correction.

“One of the challenges that has characterised the democratisation process in the country is the low number of women in politics and  the participation of women in Ghanaian politics has moved at a snail’s pace, which needs to be critically looked at for inclusive democratisation.

“In terms of constituency participation, since 1960 to date, women representation in parliament had not been anything to boast of; in 1960, women representation in parliament was 9.6 per cent, in 1965, it rose to 18.2 per cent and declined again to 0.7 per cent in 1969.

“In 1979, 1992, 1996, 2000, women representation in Parliament were 3.5 per cent, 9 per cent, and 9.5 per cent respectively, in 2000, the representation of women in Parliament was 9.5 per cent, 10.8 per cent in 2004, 9.3 per cent in 2006, 10.9 per cent in 2012 and 12.7 per cent.

“A worldwide ranking of women participation in governance pegged Ghana at 143rd position out of 193 countries surveyed, the country came behind countries in Africa like Rwanda (first in Africa), South Africa, Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Uganda, Burundi, Namibia and Sudan among others.

“The list shows that Ghana has got a long way to go with regard to promoting women participation in the country’s politics,” Prof Oquaye lamented. -GNA

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