Foundation for Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA) has called on political parties, especially the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to take extraordinary measures that would boost female representation in parliament at the 2024 general election.
According to the Foundation, the current representation of women in Ghana’s Parliament is under serious threat if stakeholders like the two major political parties do not take extraordinary measures to improve the situation.
In a press statement signed by its Executive Director, Madam Theodora Anti, and copied to EXPRESSNEWSGHANA, the Foundation contended that female participation in political and public decision-making has globally increased but has not been critically taken in Ghana.
“Women constitute about 15% of Ghana’s parliament with 40 women Parliamentarians out of the total 275. Although this number falls short of the international best practice of 30% representation, it risks further decline in December 2024 when Ghana goes to the polls to elect Parliamentarians for the 10th Parliament under the 4th Republic,” she said
It has been established globally that, women face multiple obstacles to political participation, such as discrimination, weight of prejudice, risk of violence, fear of stigmatization, barriers within political parties, societal pressure, unequal sharing of care responsibilities, lack of recognition of their skills and lack of accessibility.
For some years now, women’s advocacy groups have advocated for quotas, training, mentorship programs, investing in accessibility, measures for the selection of candidates, gender-sensitive policies, the promotion of role models and actions to combat and prevent violence against women in politics as measures to increasing their participation.
Notwithstanding these challenges, FOSDA believed that a consented effort by the political parties to enhance the participation of women from under-represented groups in political and public decision-making would have a positive impact in the long term.
Below is the Full Statement
TAKE EXTRAORDINARY MEASURES TO PREVENT A DECLINE IN WOMEN REPRESENTATION IN GHANA’S PARLIAMENT
The current representation of women in Ghana’s Parliament is under serious threat if stakeholders do not take extraordinary measures to improve the situation. Currently, women constitute about 15% of Ghana’s parliament with 40 women Parliamentarians out of the total 275. Although this number falls short of the international best practice of 30% representation, it risks further decline in December 2024 when Ghana goes to the polls to elect Parliamentarians for the 10th Parliament under the 4th Republic.
FOSDA’s analysis of the results of the recent parliamentary primaries conducted by the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the leading opposition political party, indicates that the NDC has nominated a total of 32 women to contest in the 2024 national parliamentary elections. This number constituted 12% of the total 275 nominated parliamentary candidates.
Interestingly, the NDC nominated a similar number of women, 33 in 2019 to contest the 2020 parliamentary elections, out of which 20 were elected.
The Ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) is yet to go for primaries to nominate its parliamentary candidate for the 2024 General elections. However, it is worth noting that the NPP also nominated 33 female candidates, representing 12%, to contest the Parliamentary elections in 2020. Like the NDC, 20 women out of the 33 won the elections. A total of 62 women contested the NPP primaries for the 2020 elections out of 485 candidates representing 12.78%.
The promise of an Affirmative Action law on Gender Equality in Ghana started in 2011 when the Gender Ministry set up a 21-member committee to research and make proposals for a bill.
After over a decade, this promise is yet to be a reality, especially for Ghanaian women who are significantly underrepresented in Ghana’s Parliament, local governance, and other decision-making circles.
FOSDA is calling on the Government of Ghana and the President of the Republic of Ghana to ensure the passage of the Affirmative Action on Gender Equality before the 2024 General Elections. The Law, when passed, will ensure a boost in women’s representation in parliament and other Governance Structures.
FOSDA also urges Political Parties who have not yet conducted their parliamentary primaries for the 2024 Parliamentary elections to adopt policies and measures that will support women and ensure more female candidates are nominated to contest and win the 2024 Parliamentary Elections.
Additionally, it is also critical for women to support women and vote for competent and credible women.
It is also crucial for all stakeholders including civil society organizations, and development partners to support women who are willing to contest the election.
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