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Regional News of Sunday, 13 February 2011

Source: GNA

Ensure quota allocation for Women in governance- Bus-Kwofie

Takoradi, Feb. 13, GNA - Madam Georgina Bus-Kwofie, former District Chief Executive (DCE) for Ahanta West District, has underscored the need for both government and political parties to allocate a quota of portfolios to women, to whip up their interest in governance.

She noted that, the quota representation would encourage more women to come out from their slumber and actively participate in governance and decision making at workplaces, especially those that concern women. Madam Bus-Kwofie, who is also a retired educationist, was speaking at the launch of a campaign on Affirmative Action in Takoradi, on Sunday. The programme was organised by the Advocate and Trainers for Women's Welfare and Advancement and Rights (ATTWWAR), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) on women rights, based in Takoradi. It was attended by women's groups and representatives of female workers, and had the theme, "More seats for Women in Election 2012". The former DCE noted that the democratic dispensation calls for the involvement of more women to exhibit their potential for the upliftment of women and the nation at large.

She said the days when women were relegated to the background were gone and advised them that, they would be doing a great harm to themselves, if they did not take advantage of the dispensation to unearth their suppressed knowledge in governance. Dr Rose Mensah-Kutin, Director for ABANTU FOR DEVELOPMENT, an NGO on gender issues, stressed the need for women to be supported, and that political parties must see the need to reform their internal processes, which often hamper the participation of women. Dr Mensah-Kutin said with or without constitutional and electoral quotas, political parties have a decisive role in determining the level of women's representation in the legislature. She said countries which allocated quota representation to women in governance and decision making process, have led to the empowerment of other women in all sphere of lives for the socio-economic advancement of those countries.

She noted that, as a result of the struggles of women's rights activists since the 1960s, affirmative action for women has been enshrined in various documents of the United Nations. Notable among them are the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women, which was adopted by the General Assembly in 1979 and ratified by Ghana in 1986, as well as the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, also accepted in 1995. Dr Mensah-Kutin said these and other conventions must encourage Ghanaian women to wake up and willingly accept responsible positions in their various capacities to contribute their quota towards the nation building. Madam Ekua Ansah-Eshun, Executive Director of the ATTWWAR was commissioned as the Ambassador for Affirmative Women in the Western, Central and Ashanti regions. Madam Ansah-Eshun is to embark on sensitization programmes to encourage more women to participate in the 2012 elections.

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