ABANTU for Development, a women’s right advocacy organization has begun processes to mobilize women in order to increase their representation in the 2023 Local Government Elections.
ABANTU is of the view that Gender parity in the District Assemblies should be a core concern in the desire to strengthen democratic culture and help build ideas for good governance.
In an address delivered on her behalf at a news conference in Accra recently, Dr Mensah-Kutin, Executive Director, ABANTU for Development stressed the need for equal participation and the sharing of power to engender engagement in policy-making affecting both women and men’s lives within the concept of equal citizenship rights, adding that the local government system was required to embrace equal participation as a core approach in order to promote accountability, fairness, justice and access to national resources by all.
She cautioned that by circumventing the processes to undertake electoral reforms, carry out constitutional reviews and pass legislation to ensure equal inclusion of marginalized groups, especially women, Ghana would not only limit the building of consensus in district assemblies but would also limit societal benefits central to true democracy and sustainable development.
Dr Mensah-Kutin, therefore, urged the government to quicken the movement to social equality for women in the light of the state’s commitments to international, continental and regional conventions and agreements.
The News Conference was organized as an early clarion call and demand that the Local Government Elections to be held in 2023 be undertaken within the overall commitment to gender equality in order to add value and make use of the diversity of experiences in ways that were democratic and defined genuine and equal community ownership.
The event was organized by ABANTU for Development with support from the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF).
It was part of a project being implemented to build the capacities of women and support them within the electioneering processes.
The press conference was, thus, meant to intensify the advocacy, as part of the project, for the promotion of women’s participation within Ghana’s Local Governance system.
In a presentation, Mad. Kinna Likimani, a Director at Odekro, a Parliamentary Monitoring Organization based in Ghana, blamed the dominant ideology of patriarchy as a system of society or government in which men held the power and women were largely excluded from it.
Mad. Likimani said there could be no development without parity and that patriarchy was a systemic injustice that could only be fought with interventions such as Affirmative Action laws.
She urged the government to give the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) its full budget in order for the Commission to fulfil its constitutional mandate of empowering the citizenry through civic education.
She also urged the Media to be more sensitive to Ghanaian women, adding that the Media’s role in promoting increased women’s participation in local governance could not be underestimated, for which reason she urged Media owners to consider an enhanced service contract for media personnel.
Mad. Likimani spoke on the topic: ‘Mobilizing for Women’s increased Representation in Local Government Elections in 2023.‘
On her part Mad. Lucille Hewlett Annan, Greater Accra Regional Director, NCCE pledged the commitment of the NCCE to supporting groups such as ABANTU in the light of the NCCE’s constitutional mandate under Article 35 (6) (b) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.