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Politics of Friday, 24 October 2008

Source: GNA

Women in politics attend capacity building workshop

Pusug-Namongo (UE), Oct. 24, GNA - Female aspiring parliamentary and assembly candidates, have completed a two-day capacity building workshop on leadership development at Pusug-Namongo, near Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region. It was aimed at enhancing women's leadership skills and active participation in the forthcoming presidential and parliamentary elections and also to encourage electorate to consider qualified women candidates.

The workshop was under the theme: "Strengthening the Capacity of Women Parliamentary Candidates for Election 2008". It was organised by the Women's Manifesto Coalition and Abantu for Development with sponsorship from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). The Centre for Sustainable Development Initiatives (CENSUDI) also facilitated the workshop, which attracted 40 participants from the Upper East and Upper West Regions. Participants were drawn from the New Patriotic Party (NPP), National Democratic Congress (NDC), People National Convention (PNC), Convention People's Party (CPP) and the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP). Topics treated included lobbying and advocacy skills, communication and presentation skills, campaign strategies, national issues, women in politics and decision making process, democracy, citizenship, elections, fundraising strategies and the women's manifesto for Ghana. Mrs Paulina Abayage, Upper East Regional Director of Department of Women said women deserved equality opportunity and noted that most of the leadership positions were male dominated. She said women when given the chance could play effective role in national development even more than their male counterparts. She explained that despite the fact that Ghana had been a signatory to many conventions on gender issues, little had been done by way implementation.

Mrs Abayage urged political parties to build women confidence by ensuring that party structures does not discriminate against women. She appealed to traditional authorities and religious organizations to ensure that their actions and inactions do not serve as a hindrance to women participation in active politics.

Mr. Mike Fuoh, Upper East Deputy Director of the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) urged electorates to examine candidate's capabilities and credibility before voting for them. He entreated the electorate to come out massively to exercise their franchise on the voting day since it was their duty and responsibility to do so and urged them not to do anything to mar the elections. Madam Franciska Issaka, Chief Executive Officer of CENSUDI, said the training programme would equip female candidates seeking political office and their campaign team with skills and the needed information. She said it would also promote advocacy towards improving women's participation in politics and public life. She appealed to various political parties to give equal positions to women to participate in party activities and urged the aspiring female parliamentary candidates to be assertive and courageous in their campaigns. 24 Oct. 08