The Gender Center for Empowering Development (GenCED), has rolled-out a policy dialogue series to empower young women to participate and take up roles in Election 2020.
The GenCED Young Women Policy Dialogue which is on the theme; "The role of young women in Election 2020," also seeks to mobilize young women into decision-making and stimulate the interest of young women in participating in active politics and governance.
The dialogue would also marshal young women in tertiary institutions in Ghana and other African countries - Nigeria, Liberia, Niger, Mali and Gambia to get involve in leadership roles and decision making process in their respective countries.
Ms Elorm Atakli, GenCED Project Officer said the center seeks to employ and explore traditional and modern ways of empowerment, advocacy, lobbying, dialogue and other means of engagement as a tool to get the voices of young women in party manifestoes, highlight the roles young women have been playing in elections over the years.
Ms Atakli who was speaking at a GenCED dialogue programme in Accra said young people had increasingly become the focus of various activities and policies because of the energy, creativity and innovation, but were marginalized in decision-making structures.
She said it was mainly due to the perceived lack of experience, cultural barriers, Structural and religious factors that serve as hindrance.
She further stated that youth and women represented two most important pillars of all political parties and the two wings make the parties active, contribute to agenda setting, sustain the party structure and mobilise votes.
She also mentioned that Political parties were essential part of inclusive democratic process under the equal participation of youth, women and men since the women and youth constituted majority of entire population in West Africa and were the sources of major demands for the dividends of democracy.
"It is upon this background that GenCED is embarking on an educational policy dialogue to build the capacity of young women to enable them peacefully participate, vote on issues, and the role they can play in the 2020 elections," She said.
Madam Ruth Seddoh, National Deputy Youth Organizer for the National Democratic Congress said there was male dominance in leadership and it was time to space out the differences.
She urged young women to be motivated, participate and take up leadership roles in every sector not only in politics, but also make use of least opportunities encountered.
"The influence of our socio-cultural setting and religious background was taking a better part of us that hinder women to explore to step out and make a difference."
Madam Lovelace Antwiwaa, Aid to Deputy Youth Organizer of the New Patriotic Party said women were highly under-represented in terms of positions but there were avenues for young women to be engaged in Election 2020.
She stressed the need to create awareness to get young women to participate in leadership and also do away with intimidations and pledges her support for women and youth advocacy in leadership.
She urged young women to educate and advocate peace in the 2020 elections, and also get themselves readily available in possible ways, to be well prepared and oriented in activities that would adequately prepare them for future opportunities.