Women trained on gender sensitive elections observation

By
Kwamina Tandoh, GNA

Accra, Aug. 25, GNA – A three-day training
workshop on Special Gender Sensitive and Women Focused Election Observation in
the context of Ghana’s election 2016 has ended in Accra.

The maiden edition of the workshop is being
organised by the Women, Peace and Security Institute of the Kofi Annan
International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC).

The project will be implemented within the
framework of the Women, Peace and Security Communication Network (WPSCommNET).

The training aimed at equipping the members of
the WPS CommNet and other participants with the skills and tools necessary
tools to undertake domestic election observation with a gender lens, paying
particular attention to women parliamentary candidates in their various
constituents over the 2016 electoral cycle.

Air Vice Marshal Griffiths Santrofi Evans,
Commandant of the KAIPTC said the workshop, aimed at contributing to a better
understanding of the dynamics and factors that affect women’s political
participation and help to identify the gaps and challenges that have
implications for their success or otherwise in the political and public
spheres.

He said women account for less than 15 per
cent of the country’s legislative governance and their numbers seem to be
dwindling as the Ghanaian democracy had gained in traction and ascendency.

He observed that whereas women accounted for
an estimated 20 per cent of parliamentary seats in the first republic, they
currently occupy less than 10 per cent of the seats in the current legislature.

“This far below the minimum 30 per cent
threshold recommended by the UN, the low number of women in parliament can have
implications for legislation that adequately reflects their interest and
priorities’, he added.

Air Vice Marshal Evans noted that affording
women greater access and representation in politics and governance would allow
their potentials and perspectives to be brought bear on the process of
democracy and thereby maximise the benefits thereof.

He said having more women in leadership could
positively affect the standard of living and sustainability of development.

He quoted Dr Kofi Annan, Former Secretary
General of the UN as saying “there is not tool or development more effective
than the empowerment of women, no other policy is as likely to raise economic
productivity, no other policy powerful in the chances of education for the next
generation’’.

He added that the workshop would go a long way
to boosting support for the full implementation of the global agenda of women’s
empowerment and greater participation in leadership and decision-making at all
levels of the society.             

Mr Andrew Barnes, Australian High Commissioner
to Ghana said promoting gender inclusive participation at all stages of the
electoral system forms an integral part of democratic process.

He reiterated Australia’s commitment to help
promote women’s representation and participation in leadership and
governance. 

Women Organisers of the various political
parties charged women to defy all odds that hamper their effective role in
decision making and leadership.

GNA

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