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General News of Saturday, 17 May 2008

Source: GNA

Minister Advocates for Quota for Women in Parliament

Kumasi, May 17, GNA- Mr. Maxwell Kofi Jumah, Deputy Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, has advocated the enactment of a law that would make it possible to grant a substantial quota of seats to women in Parliament.

He stated that, such a measure would enable women to contribute effectively to the nation's development process and also address socio-cultural obstacles that inhibited their development.

Mr. Jumah who is also the Member of Parliament for Asokwa was speaking at the opening session of a three-day workshop on Culture and Millennium Development Goals (CMDGs), in Kumasi on Thursday.

The workshop, being jointly organised by the National Commission on Culture and Konrad Adanaure Stiftung an international Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), aimed at giving the participants the opportunity to discuss ways of achieving the MDGs within the context of African Culture.

The Deputy Minister expressed dissatisfaction at the low representation of women in parliament, warning that, this situation could worsen in the near future in view of the fact that many women parliamentarians were losing their seats in the on-going primaries of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

He pointed out that the time has come for stakeholders to take women issues seriously, such as their education, health and physical development, saying this was crucial to promoting gender equity and also empower them.

Mr. Jumah further entreated traditional rulers to collaborate with NGOs in fashioning out comprehensive programmes aimed reviewing outmoded socio-cultural practices that hampered women's development.

This, he said, was necessary if they were to be given access to ownership and control of resources so as to make them capable of making their own decisions which were in their best interest.

Professor George Hagan, Chairman of the National Commission on Culture, observed that denying education to women tendered to consign them to a state of inferiority and dependency and therefore admonished parents to invest in their education to help better their lives.

He said, given the human focus of the MDGs, it was imperative that the strategies adopted to achieving the goals were modified to suit the historical experience and cultural diversity of the people. Prof. Hagan said a move would allow community leaders and the masses to understand the concept better, know their responsibilities and work hard to realise these objectives.

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