The New Patriotic Party (NPP) will introduce programmes that will encourage and bring women into the mainstream of economic and political activities should it be given the mandate come December 7.
In its Election 2012 manifesto made available to the Ghana News Agency, the NPP said it was committed to the development and welfare of Ghanaian women in granting that the party should be voted for to pursue its agenda.
The manifesto entitled: “Transforming lives, Transforming Ghana,” touted NPP’s record in advancing the cause of gender equality and in unlocking the potential of women.
According to the party, an NPP government will reduce maternal and child morbidity and mortality through the revitalization of the National Health Insurance Scheme, the Free Maternal Care Policy and Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP), and encourage the provision of quality childcare facilities for mothers at work places, markets and community centres in cities and towns.
“NPP government will encourage young girls to go to school, stay in school and open up science and mathematics education for girls at all levels of education by enforcing an affirmative action policy,” the NPP stated. The Party also promised to work with traditional authorities to free women from such oppressive and discriminatory practices as ostracisation of so-called witches in special villages and widowhood rites.
It said though over 51 per cent of Ghanaians were women, they faced historical, social, political and cultural challenges. It noted that women currently accounted for less than 10 per cent of people in public office and only 8 per cent of Members of Parliament.
The NPP gave reference to its achievements when it was in government, citing the appointment of a cabinet Minister in charge of women and children and the girl child education, and passing the Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking Acts to protect women and children.
It also cited the appointments of women to head key public service organisations and providing free medical care for all pregnant women.
Meanwhile, a survey conducted by the National Commission for Civic Education ranked Women and children issues as the number four out of 14 matters of concern to the Ghanaian voter in election 2012.
On regional ranking of Women and Children issues, Western ranked it third while Volta, Eastern, Ashanti, Central, Northern, Upper East, and Upper West considered it as the fourth most priority in Election 2012. Brong Ahafo ranked it fifth.
According to the survey an overwhelming majority of 71.6 per cent were females whilst 27.9 per cent were male.
The survey revealed that most people recommended that government should provide women with soft loans; women and children issues should be given priority attention by the government.
Other issues raised in the survey were that government should educate women and children on their rights and privileges; government should give free education to children; create more employment opportunities for women; offer higher positions and appointments to women as their male counterparts, and that women and children should be given free health care.