“Ghana can only overcome poverty and enhance quality of its human capital if it fully integrates issues of gender equality in its policy and development agenda,” KinnaLikimani, Member of the Women’s Manifesto Coalition, has said.
According to her, women are misrepresented in government despite being the majority of the country’s total population.
Speaking at the “Mobilising for women’s increased representation in local government elections 2023” press conference in Accra yesterday, MsLikimani indicated that engaging with policies from a gender justice perspective was engine to development.
“Women form majority of Ghana’s total population, constituting 51.3 per cent. In spite of this majority, women form the minority in terms of their representation in decision making at the local level,” she said.
MsLikimani lamented that women’s inclusion in Ghana’s decentralised system has remained low since its inception and stressed the need for women to strive for positions at the local governance system.
Due to the recurring low representation of women and the marginalisation of women at the local level, she said it was critical that the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) together with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) and other stakeholders add their voice to the advocacy for the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill into law.
MsLikimani also said the patriarchal system could change if the media change the narrative and language they used in describing women to the public.
On her part, the Mobilisation and Sustainability Manager of Abantu for development, Mrs Hamida Harrison charged women to step up their activities to compete fully with their male counterparts.
She said only 3.8per cent women were represented in the local government and underscored the need for the MLGRD to enforce the 30per cent appointment of women into the district assemblies.
“As part of the directives by the Ministry in the appointment of persons into the districts, all district assemblies must adhere to a 30 per cent appointment of women. However, this has not been adhered to by the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) as some districts have no women representation,” Mrs Harrison lamented.
She said parity in women’s participation in district assemblies should be a core concern in the desire to strengthen democratic culture and help build ideals of good governance.
Mr Mahamood Shakil Kpedu, the Deputy Municipal Co-ordinating Director of West Akim, stated that equal participation and sharing of power should engender engagement in policy-making to enhance the concept of equal citizenship right.
BY JOYCELINE NATALLY CUDJOE AND PAUL QUARCOO