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Politics of Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Source: Parliament

Parliament of Ghana supports call for more women leaders in politics

Members of parliament, community and civil society leaders from Ghana and the Commonwealth gathered in Accra on 6th August to start a two-day conference on inclusive politics and the unique benefits that women bring to political leadership.

Over the two days of the conference; August 6 to 7, participants will discuss women's political careers, their pathways to leadership and the types of policies and investments that lead to more inclusive societies and political systems, Participants will also construct success studies of how women succeed in political parties, parliaments and elections.

The conference is being hosted by the Parliament of Ghana and co-organised with Commonwealth Partnership for Democracy (CP4D), a programme funded by the UK Government to support inclusive democratic practices that ensure women, young people, persons with disabilities and other under-represented groups are engaged in government decision-making.

The Commonwealth Partnership for Democracy (CP4D) is implemented by the UK’s democracy support agency. the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD). in partnership with other UK organisations: the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association’s headquarters and UK branch. and Commonwealth Local Government Forum.

Speaking at the conference, Seyi Akiwowo CEO of Glitch, a not-for-profit working to end online abuse said: “Women globally are 27 times more likely to be harassed online than men and research has shown this is even worse for black women and women in politics. This is a threat to gender equality democratic engagement and democracies around the world.

“This is why I'm both honoured and excited to be in Ghana with Westminster Foundation for Democracy co-creating a safe space for women across the continent of Africa, helping to develop their leadership skills and share key tools that has helped with my political career in the UK."

Shannon O'Connell, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy's Senior Advisor for Gender, Inclusion and Politics, said Ghana has extraordinary women leaders at all levels of society.

They may not all have titles that offer them formal authority, but women in civil society, community organising, local leadership, education, business and many other fields are strong and capable leaders. I look forward to supporting these women and other equality activists from Ghana and throughout the Commonwealth who are working to create higher levels of inclusion and representative decision-making processes.

Research shows that women's political leadership results in better outcomes for women, girls and society as a whole, and delivers progress in policy areas vital for economic growth and development, such as health, education and infrastructure. Even without these quantifiable dividends, the argument for women's empowerment is irrefutable -democracy cannot be said to exist if half of the population is not wholly engaged equally in decision-making.
These are among the reasons that CP4D is supporting efforts towards greater gender equality in politics across Commonwealth.

The outcomes of the conference in Accra will also feed into WFD and the University of Birmingham's research on Women in African Parliaments: Seeking Impact Against the Odds, which seeks to improve understanding of how women legislators are able to influence policy outcomes in their roles on parliamentary committees.

The research is expected to be published by 2020.