Politics of Friday, 20 July 2012
A senior lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Mrs. Vesta Adu-Gyamfi, has called for an end to what she described as the “tribal politics of block voting and intimidation".
This, she said, is necessary to create a level playing field for women to win elections at both the primaries and the national level, insisting that, the situation where “ethnic loyalty often takes precedence over the selection of good leadership and good governance skills” is unhelpful.
Mrs. Adu-Gyamfi was speaking at the launch of the project, “Consolidating Ghana’s democratic credentials through ensuring a more inclusive national parliament” at the Miklin Hotel in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region.
It is being spearheaded by the Centre for the Development of People (CEDEP), an NGO, and has brought together women parliamentary aspirants, political party representatives and civil society groups.
The object is to help build the capacity and confidence of women and persons with disability who have put themselves up for the upcoming general election.
Mrs. Adu-Gyamfi complained about the lack of political education, resulting in low level of political participation that is often biased and economically excessive for both the candidate and the voter.
She urged women’s movements to provide strong voices for the inclusion of women in political structures across party lines.
Women should also take advantage of their political context to demand policy changes and fight for greater political equality.
They must “aspire to higher heights, even to the highest position in the country than the mundane lives they lead,” she said.
The lecturer reminded the political parties to mainstream women in party machinery, endorse and give them the special attention they need.
Additionally, they should reserve certain number of seats at the local and national levels for them.
Mr. Charles Sakyi, Deputy Executive Director of CEDEP, said it was time cultural and traditional barriers, inhibiting women from fully exploiting their potentials were removed.
He noted that equal participation of all identifiable groups in society, including women, and persons with disability in Parliament, was essential for the building of sustainable democracy.**