Politics of Saturday, 21 February 2015
The Northern Regional Office of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), has expressed fears that women’s representation in the Tamale Metropolis and the Sagnarigu District will continue to remain poor as a result of negative practices and perceptions against women.
The Commission said some aspects of cultural practices, inferiority complex and religious impediments were some problems affecting women’s participation in the District Level Elections in the Sagnarigu District and the Tamale Metropolis.
Alhaji Abdul-Razak Saani, Northern Regional Director of the NCCE, expressed the fears in Tamale on Friday when he disseminated findings of a research conducted by the Northern Regional Office of the NCCE on the “District Assembly System and Gender in the Tamale Township: Implications for the forthcoming Local Elections”.
The survey was conducted in the Tamale Metropolis and the Sagnarigu District with the aim of assessing the performance of the Metropolitan and District Assemblies and to identify the causes of low female participation in local elections.
Alhaji Saani said the Sagnarigu District had 141 candidates vying in their various electoral areas to represent the people in the Assembly out which only five were women contestants, adding, out of the 71 persons contesting in the Tamale Metropolis only five were women, a situation he described as very discouraging.
He said culturally and religiously, men were heads of families especially in the study area where Islam dominated and that in Islam women could not lead prayers, which had been used to discourage some women from participating in elections.
He mentioned other problems as some husbands threatening to divorce their wives if they contested elections while some women lacked the political courage to compete with men for political office.
Alhaji Saani said about 60 per cent of females who wrote examinations in Tamale Metro and the Sagnarigu District often failed, which had been a contributory factor in the low women’s participation in the District Level Elections.
He appealed to the media to help the NCCE to disseminate its civic education messages emphasizing the need for the media to continue to play its expected roles by offering the education in areas that would help improve women’s participation in the elections saying, “If women are well represented in the various assemblies NGOs would identify them and give the needed support to promote development”.
He said for the situation to improve, parents needed to place more premium on the education of their female children, adding, it was through proper formal education that the situation could be reversed.
He stated “Rwanda is leading Africa in terms of women occupation of political office and I have the hope that the situation in Ghana can improve”.