‘Unequal representation of women in decision-making undermining development’

The unequal representation and vulnerable groups in decision-making is un­dermining progress, growth and development of the country.

Women and vulnerable groups continue to face several challeng­es due to cultural, religious and societal stereotyping has limited their involvement and activeness in decision-making processes.

“The imbalance in the repre­sentation of women and other vulnerable groups at various levels of decision-making is affecting the progress, growth and devel­opment of the nation,”Benjamin Kessie, the Municipal Chief Executive for Tarkwa-Nsuaem, made this known during the com­memoration of the International Women’s Day on the theme: ‘Dig­ital, Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality’ in Tarkwa in the Western Region.

The International Women’s Day is celebrated globally on March 8 to recognise the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, was organised by the Golden Tree Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation, focusing on gender equality, in collaboration with the Municipal Assembly, and Inspires and Advocacy International, a group that supports women.

For instance, Mr Kessie ob­served that the Municipal Assem­bly, the highest decision-making body, had 43 members, out of which five were women and one person with disability and cur­rently in the municipality, women continue to face several challenges due to cultural, religious and socie­tal stereotyping which had limited their involvement and activeness in decision-making processes.

Aside women, he explained that vulnerable groups such as People Living With Disability also went through suffering and faced challenges due to their special and unique needs, limiting their ability to engage in social interactions to influence policy priorities.

“In order to curtail these dif­ficulties, the Assembly is making efforts to improve budget for gender responsive and social programmes that economically empower women and the vulner­able in society.

“We have embarked on alternative livelihood and skills development programmes such as liquid soap, batik, tie and dye making, confectionery and vegetable farming to financially equip women and the vulnerable to take care of their families.

“The Assembly is imple­menting government’s Liveli­hood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme by providing cash and health insurance incentives to extremely poor households,” Mr Kessie stated.

Mrs Hamdiya Chireboah-An­sah, a lecturer at the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa, and the Artisanal Small-Scale Mining Junior Coordinator for Women in Mining, encouraged women in the communities to take up leadership roles.

She advised parents whose young girls wanted to study engineering to encourage them to do so and enable them to work in the mining sector since UMaT had a slot for them in the community.

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