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General News of Friday, 11 November 2016


Ghana ranked 150th in women representation

Ghana is currently ranked 150 out of 185 in the Inter-Parliamentary Union ranking on women representation in parliament across the world.

Despite the country’s impressive democratic credentials, evidence from the previous elections indicates that the participation of women is very low.

Out of the 275 Members of Parliament (MPs), only 30 are women, representing a marginal 10.9 percent of the total number of Members of Parliament.

In 2008, there were 133 females out of the total number of 1,332 parliamentary candidates, with only 10.7 percent going to parliament.

The situation at the local and district level is similar to the national outlook.

Only seven percent of women got elected into the local Assemblies during the 2010 elections, a reduction from 10.10 percent in 2006.

At the executive level, only six out of 18 Cabinet Ministers are women and only 18 out of 216 District Chief Executives (DCEs) are women.

This was disclosed at the UNDP “Nkitahodie” Gender Dialogue, themed: Gender Equality and Women Participation in Politics and Political Processes in Ghana: The Role of Political Parties.”

The day’s programme was aimed to bringing gender activists, practitioners, academics, political parties and policy-makers together to examine gender equal participation and leadership in politics and electoral processes in Ghana.

The Dialogue was also to deconstruct the role of political parties in promoting gender equality and the role political parties can play in supporting women at all levels.

Dominic Sam, UNDP Country Director, in his opening remarks, said despite these commitments and the strong democratic standing of Ghana in Africa and particularly in West Africa, Ghana’s politics has largely been a contest in masculinity.

He said, “Women play an important role in campaigning and mobilisation of votes but are rarely considered for high-level political positions.”

Mr. Sam said the participation of women in decision-making at the national level does not bode well for Ghana’s position in the comity of nations and therefore makes female representation an important issue in Ghana.

Panelist drawn from various parts of Africa also shared their views on how they have been able to achieve parity in women representation.

Fatou Diop, President of the National Gender Parity Observatory in Senegal, said “We created a network of women and supported each other across the political parties, and then we matched to the seat of government with our petition.”

Dr. Ekuru Aukot, Founder of Thirdway Alliance, Kenya, said, “Stop crying and take up your leadership position by exploiting your greatest resource.”