A stakeholders’ Dialogue on women’s inclusion in Ghana’s local government system has taken place in Accra.


The Dialogue, which took place under the project: Strengthening women’s capacities for effectiveness in Ghana’s local governance system, was organized by ABANTU for Development, a gender and policy advocacy Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), with support from Star-Ghana.


The Dialogue, aimed to learn, share and exchange ideas on how to address existing challenges, inequalities and imbalances in representation in the local governance system.


Addressing the forum on Tuesday, February 5, 2019 on the topic: Gaps in Women’s Participation in Ghana’s Local Governance System― equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic, and public life, Mr Frank Wilson Bodza, Programmes Manager, Governance, Women in Law and Development (WiLDAF), cited Section 2 (1) of the Political Parties Act, 2002 which, subject to the 1992 Republican Constitution, gives every citizen of Ghana of voting age the right to participate in political activity intended to influence the composition and policies of the government.


Mr Bodza also made reference to Article 35(6) (b) of the 1992 constitution which calls for a reasonable regional and gender balance in recruitment and appointment to public offices.


He noted that Article 9 (1) of the Maputo Protocol also required that State Parties take specific positive action to promote participative governance and the equal participation of women in the political life of their countries through affirmative action, and enable national legislation and other measures to ensure that (a) Women participate without any discrimination in all elections;(b) Women are represented equally at all levels with men in all electoral processes; and ( c) Women are equal partners with men at all levels of development and implementation of state policies and development programmes.


Furthermore, he said, Article 9 (2) of the Protocol required State Parties to ensure increased and effective representation and participation of women at all levels of decision-making.


Mr Bodza, therefore, stressed the need to engage the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development to officially compel all Assemblies to comply with a directive to appoint 30% of women before the inauguration of District Assemblies; go to court to challenge unlawful appointments or the under-representation of women in the District Assemblies; and for Parliament to pass the Affirmative Action Bill into law before the September 2019 District Assembly elections.


He urged government to re-introduce the Women in Local Governance Fund, support women aspirants with funds, logistics and materials, build the capacity of women aspirants on campaign strategy and public speaking, establish strong coalition to campaign and advocate for increase representation of women in the next Assemblies and work through Members of Parliament to achieve the 30% appointment for women into the District Assemblies.


Source: G.D. Zaney, Esq.



Created: 08 February 2019
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