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ABANTU launches SAGES Project to galvanize support for women in election 2024

ABANTU for Development, a women’s rights advocacy Organization has set in motion a  project dubbed, ‘Strengthening Activism for a Gender-Responsive Elections 2024 in Ghana’(SAGES) to advance the rights of women and girls to political participation.

 Launched in Accra on Thursday, April 18,2024, with support from the African Women’s Development Fund(AWDF),the Project intends to increase the effectiveness of citizens’ action for an inclusive credible and a peaceful general election 2024.

 In particular, the SAGES  Projects would focus on supporting joined intergenerational citizens’ initiatives  at all levels of governance to secure the best gender equality outcomes for women and other marginalized groups.

Dr Rose Mensah- Kutin, Executive Director of Abantu for  Development explained to participants at the  launch  that the project seeks to ensure that a higher level of national attention directed towards addressing the perennial low representation of women and other marginalized groups in policy- making spaces through legislative remedies this year’s elections and beyond.

Dr Mensah-kutin noted that Ghana has made great strides in terms of political stability, since the country’s return to multi-party democracy in 1992. The country has organized eight (8) successive elections, since then, which have been considered credible, peaceful, free and fair.

However, she observed that the participation of vulnerable groups, especially, women, young women and persons with disabilities (PWDs) has remained extremely low. She indicated that the low representation is evidenced in the fact that women constitute only 14.5% out of the two hundred and seventy-five (275) Members of Parliament.

 She noted that discrimination, exclusion and structural challenge within political institutions and the society as a whole makes it difficult for women and other marginalized groups to exercise their rights, voice their concerns and add their perspectives on  issues  that  impact directly on their lives.

She  added, “Women’s persistent low inclusion from formal politics in particular raises a number of specific concerns regarding the achievement of effective democratic transformation in practice and in reality.”

According to her, Inequality and  exclusion undermine  the concept of true democratic ideas, which  by its nature assumes that the right to vote and  to be voted for should be equally applied to all citizens, adding that, absence of a critical mass of women from political decision-making has a negative impact on the entire process of democratization.

 In a speech read on her behalf, the Director of the Department of Gender at the Ministry of Gender  Children and  Social Protection, Madam Faustina  Acheampong stated that the 2024 elections must be  gender responsive as she mentioned the importance of integrating issues of women in the country’s development agenda.

She noted that, “We must work together to increase women’s participation at all levels of governance and decision- making in Ghana.”

She informed participants that the Affirmative Action Bill is currently before Parliament for consideration.

Speaking on Women’s  Activism in Election 2024  for Ghana’s  Development, Hillary Gbedemah, Member of the Commission on the  Elimination of  all forms  of Discrimination against Women( CEDAW) called on women and women’s right activists to revive the spirit of activism by looking for strategies that would suit their advocacy.

On her part, Grant Manager at AWDF Beatrice Boakye – Yiadom bemoaned the underrepresentation  of  women in decision-making processes in the country, emphasizing the need for robust decisions to ensure parity.

She said Women are nowhere to be found in decision -making processes in Ghana, as they continue to be underrepresented. She stated that political parties and the electorate could play a pivotal role to ensure greater parity.

“We need decent representation all levels.We need women advocates to champion women participation in decision –making.”

By:Mohammed Suleman /Publicagenda.News   


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