|Nana Oye Lithur, Min. Gender/Children|
Stakeholders from various Community-Based Organisations (CBOs) under the Ghanaian Developing Communities Association (GDCA) in the Northern Region of Ghana have resolved after a three-day conference in Tamale, that in the interest of promoting decentralization government must address critical issues affecting women empowerment with all the commitment they deserve.
Under a theme: “Over two decades of decentralization in Ghana; Prospects and Challenges”, the conference brought together CBOs from 19 districts of the operational area of GDCA and over the three-day period discussed women inclusion and partisanship in the local governance system.
In a communiqué issued after the conference, the CBOs observed that, to promote women participation and representation at the Metropolitan/Municipal/District Assemblies, 80 percent of 30 percent government appointees slot should be given to women. This, they noted, would enhance women representation and participation which is currently inadequate in the various Assemblies in the country particularly in the Northern Region.
The communiqué signed by Ms Mariama Yakubu, CBO Regional Chairwoman, further observed that political party structures including election process from ward level to national are not friendly to women. This trend, they said, must be reverted, stressing that “government, political parties and other collaborators must work to ensure that fertile grounds are created for women participation at all levels of the society”.
They also bewailed that there is still confusion among community members and their leaders on the position of women in terms of leadership. “Cultural activities still see women to be providing support instead of leading. To revert this stance, Traditional Authorities as well as community members should accept women as partners in development and beyond”, the communiqué recommended.
It was established that there is indeed partisanship, DCEs favouring political party allies in the Assemblies with contracts and other favours. “The election of right calibre into the Assembly should be adhered to in order to avoid square pegs being put in round holes”, the communiqué said.
The CBOs also reiterated calls on government to make the position of MMDCEs elective in order “to ensure that MMDAs are people owned and not by political party leaders”. Adding that, this would ensure that MMDAs are answerable and accountable to the people.
The communiqué further emphasised that, the 30% of Government Appointees into the Assembly must be given to the right calibre of people as stipulated by Act 462 of the Constitution. “We the participants would like to add that consideration should be given to technocrats whose expertise can inure to the benefit of the MMDAs”, the communiqué indicated.