Sunday, June 6, 2010


By Joseph Ziem, Tamale
Policy makers and decentralization experts have opined that Ghana’s name could be highlighted more on the global map as a country in the sub-region that is already leading in the entrenchment of democracy, if more women are appointed to serve in sensitive positions more especially at the District Assembly level.
Women in Africa and more especially Ghana, are seen as people who can manage homes very well because of their meticulous ways of approaching or solving issues regarding themselves, their children and other people and how to manage resources very well in times of constraints.
This wisdom in women, in the opinion of gender activists and other people like Iddrisu Musah Superior, a leading member of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) could be translated into proper office management and resource distribution if women are given equal chances like men to serve.
Speaking to Savannah News in an exclusive interview on phone, Mr. Musah Superior said Ghana lagged behind several African States and the rest of the world because women are not supported to achieve their desired goals in the field of academics and entrepreneurships.
He said considering the fact that women constitute over 50 percent of farmers in the rural areas of Ghana, paying their children’s school fees to attain higher education, engaging in communal labour to help build their communities and among others, if they are supported very well the gender imbalance in education and poverty levels of women could be drastically reduced.
Mr. Musah Superior called on the various political parties in the country to seriously advocate for women and encourage them to contest in the up coming District Assembly and Unit Committee elections in October, adding “Ghanaians must take a paradigm shift by voting for women in the District Assembly and Unit Committee elections as well as other elections so as to enhance good implementation of policies especially the ones that are geared towards the development of women and children”.
He said it does not necessarily mean that political parties should force their members to contest but see it as a desire and opportunity to advocate for change or transformation in leadership at the local level. “Men must support women for sustainable growth”, he emphasized.
He further asked the political parties, civil society organizations as well as the media to keep reminding government about its pledge to appoint 40 percent of women across board to serve in leadership positions, saying “it is only when such transformation takes place that it would create opportunities for women to contest presidential elections in the future”.
Statistics made available to Savannah News revealed that Ghana’s Parliament has since 1960 been underrepresented by women where only 10 women were elected out of 104 legislators, 1965 recorded 19 female legislators out of 104, 1969 saw a very discomforting figure of 1 female Member of Parliament out of 104 while 1979 also saw an appreciable rise of 5 females out of 140 legislators.
Furthermore, in 1992, 16 females out of 200, 1996 saw 18 out of the same 200 and the figure rose to 19 in 2000 out of 200. However, the 2004 Parliament recorded a high number of 25 female legislators out of the 230 and 2008 also recorded 20 out of 230 but the number now stands at 19 females due to the demise of the late Chereponi MP, Doris Seidu Iddi.
At the district or local level, the statistics revealed further that 122 women were elected Assembly Members nationwide as against 4,082 males in 1994, 196 women in 1998 as against 4,624 males, year 2002 saw 341 women against 4,241 males and 2006 also recorded 433 elected women as against 4,301.
Based on these demoralizing statistics, Mr. Iddrisu Musah Superior is calling on government to fulfill the constitutional requirement of allocating 50% of the 30% Assembly Members appointees to women, in order to expand the number of women at the local government level.

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