Women’s rights advocacy Organization, ABANTU for Development has intensified its clarion call for Ghanaian Electorate to vote for women candidates in the upcoming District Level Elections which is scheduled for October this year. .
Voting for women, ABANTU believes, would consolidate the gains in Ghana’s democratic credentials, while promoting development and women empowerment.
The call was made at press a conference in Accra held on the theme “Increasing Women’s Participation and Representation in the 2023 District Level Elections. It was organized by ABANTU for Development with support from African Women Development Fund (AWDF)
In an address, Senior Programmes officer at ABANTU for Development, Grace Ampomaa Afrifa emphasized the need to give women a chance in the local elections.
She noted that voting for women would promote gender equality, diversity in decision-making, and consensus building because women represented the larger percentage of the Ghanaian population.
According to her Ghana’s Local Governance was created to provide centres of self-governance, inclusive local participation, equal decision-making, planning, and development.
However, she bemoaned that women’s presence remains low. Adding that, currently, the representation of women in Ghana’s Local Governance system stands below 7%.
“There is, therefore, an urgent need that women in Ghana are enabled to increase their participation in politics and in decision making, in order to shape policies and enhance democratic governance.”
She called on the public to support women candidates in elections 2023.
While calling on the government to demonstrate political will by implementing international and regional protocols, conventions, and agreements on women’s minimum thresholds in the participation of decision-making structures, she also called for the immediate promulgation of the Affirmative Action Bill into Law per agreement by Ghana and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) agreement, as well as in the 1989 Government White Paper that will facilitate the 40 percent representation of women,
The Public Relations Manager of the National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG), Edmund Nii Adjetey Adjei, stated that out of the 261 Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs), only 39 were women which represented 15 percent while 10 women were Presiding Members representing about 3.9 percent.
Mr. Adjei urged the media to champion the discourse and draw the nation’s attention to it adding, “The elections are about five months away, people need to know”.
On his part the Chairman of the Food Security Policy Advocacy Network (FoodSPAN), Kingsley Offei-Nkansah, said in order for society to progress, women must be in a position to progress first.
The Press conference was attended by journalists from both print and electronic media, some sitting women Assembly Members, and aspiring ones.
By: Mohammed Suleman/ Publicagendagh.com