‘Involve Women In Decision-Making’
The Executive Director of Advocates for Gender Equity, Mrs Elizabeth Akpalu, has called for the involvement of women in decision-making at all levels of governance.
She said women’s participation in decision-making could improve delivery of social services and the relationship between government and local community.
Mrs Apkalu who made this known at a workshop on advocacy for affirmative action for women political practitioners in Accra said women in politics could change the political system and also bring on board alternative development paradigms. The programme was organized by Women’s Assistance and Business Association (WABA) based at Adenta in Accra.
She said ‘Without the active participation of women and the incorporation of women’s perspective at all levels of decision-making, the goals of equality, development and peace cannot be achieved.’
Mrs Akpalu said the participation of both women and men in decision-making would provide a balance that more accurately reflects the composition of society, adding that both are needed in order to strengthen democracy and promote its proper functioning.
She said equality in political decision-making performs a leverage function, without which there would be no real integration of the equality in dimension in government decision-making.
Mrs Akpalu said research into corruption shows that women are less likely to behave opportunistically as compared to men, stating that women’s equal participation in decision-making is not only a demand for simple justice or democracy but could also be seen as a necessary condition for women’s interest to be taken into account.
She said women’s political representation had become a matter of priority since statistics showed that less than 10 percent of women represented in main structures of the country, adding that the diminutive percentage of women was not as a result of interest decline on the part of women, but the number of women who are elected.
Mrs Akpalu said the main factor that accounted for women’s low participation in politics were cultural beliefs and practices that militate against women taking up leadership responsibilities right from the home where men are seen as the breadwinners of the family.
Other factors she mentioned was low socio-economic status of women making it difficult for women to run effective campaigns.
Mrs Akpalu said ‘It is time for men to give way for women to also help manage the affairs of the country. More participation of women in decision-making will bring development and improve the economy.’
Ms Gloria Ofori-Boadu, President of Women’s Assistance and Business Association (WABA) said the aim of the advocacy for affirmative action for women political practitioners programme was to draw women from all the 10 regions of Ghana together to make input into the affirmative action legislation and support the initiative of the Ministry for Gender, Children and Social Protection.
She said the Ministry intends to submit proposed legislation to cabinet and thence to Parliament for passage into law and also for effective implementation.
The programme identified target group of women from all party backgrounds who had contested elections for constituency executives, from local government and also for parliamentary elections.
WABA Institute of Democracy, Human Rights and Good Governance is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) whose vision is to promote the legal, civic and economic empowerment of women and girls which would positively impact on their families and communities.
WABA which was set up in 2004 involves in education, advocacy and capacity building programmes for grassroots, women group, business cooperatives, women leaders, women in district assemblies and women in parliament.
By Cephas Larbi
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