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Politics of Sunday, 20 September 2015

Source: GNA

MFWA congratulates women elected in local elections

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) has congratulated all women who won their bids in the just-ended district-level elections held on September 1, particularly those who had technical support from the foundation.

“We are particularly proud of 11 women from the Upper East, Upper West and Northern regions… who were beneficiaries of several capacity building and publicity programmes organised by the MFWA and partner organisations,” the foundation said in a statement issued in Accra and copied the Ghana News Agency on Friday.

The statement listed the successful candidates as Rosina Zenabu Abdul-Rahaman– Jegung Electoral Area; Adam Mariama – Yilifong Electoral Area; Hajia Issah Zelia - Sagnarigu Electoral Area; Adu Zina – Pusiga Electoral Area; Yakubu Rihinatu – Wurishe Electoral Area; Meimuna Sandow – Wulugu Electoral Area and Meimuna Mahama – Wantugu Electoral Area, all in the Northern Region.

The rest are Marciano Beltane – Nab gang Electoral Area; Mercy B. Name – Stadium Residential Electoral Area - Sisala East; Ayamdor Angela – Bongo from Upper West Region as well as Anafobisi Electoral Area and Lydia Niyela –Kulpeliga Electoral Area from Upper East Region

“These women got elected regardless of the stiff competition from male opponents and the postponement of the election from March to September…, which dealt a heavy blow to many aspirants, particularly, women,” Ms Abigail Larbi-Odei, MFWA Programme Officer for Media, Democracy and Development said in the statement.

“This result proves an assumption the project had that given all contributory factors, increased media visibility is key to enhancing the chances of women being elected in the local-level election,” she added.

She said while the foundation congratulates those who won, it equally salutes all those who exercised their right to electoral participation.

Democracy requires that citizens are not only heard but actively participate in governance and decision making processes that directly affect their lives, she said.

“Therefore in Ghana where women constitute the majority, it is important efforts are made to empower them to participate in public discourse and also occupy public spaces as a reflection of true democracy,” she added.

In 2014, the MFWA in collaboration with its local radio station partners, and the Foundation for Security and Development in Africa, committed to improve the visibility of aspiring women in the district-level elections under the project “Improving Women’s Voices and Participation in public discourse in Ghana”.

The project with funding support from IBIS-Ghana, among others, used local radio stations to increase the visibility of women aspirants ahead of the elections and enhance their chances of being elected.

About 60 women aspirants from selected districts in the three regions of the north participated in training workshops and gained enhanced capacity and skills to effectively engage the media as part of their campaigning ahead of the elections.

Rosina Zenabu Abdul-Rahaman who won at Jegung against the third time incumbent is quoted as saying: “I really think the electorate voted on merit. My campaign message was that I will be their messenger and wherever they send me I will go.

“One key factor that contributed to my success was my participation in the training on effective media engagement skills…I also participated regularly in the radio programmes and they helped me a lot; during my community entries I was able to deliver my messages with ease.”

Mercy B. Nyame who also won at Stadium told the MFWA: “I really wanted to call the MFWA to share the good news because I think the training and the radio programmes contributed to a lot to my victory. I am very happy”.

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