Ghana needs policies that will promote women involvement in governance structures in order to reduce corruption and ensure sustainable national development, Mr Frederick Agyarko Oduro, Dean of Studies and Research, Institute of Local Government Studies, has said.
He said the country had practised the system, where women were not given responsible positions in the governance system for long and it did not help in the development of the country.
“We need to take a clue from progressive countries like Rwanda and Ethiopia, where women were given the support to rise in the political sphere.
Mr Oduro was speaking at a sensitisation forum in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region, organised by the Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS) in collaboration with the National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG) and Inter-Ministerial Coordinating Committee (IMCC) on decentralisation on Thursday.
The nationwide programme, sort to sensitize and empower women to actively participate in governance processes especially the 2019 district level elections, in a bid to increase women involvement in the decision making processes of the country.
It brought together Assembly women and other women from various women groups across the region.
The Dean explained that more women were honest, disciplined and better managers of the economy than most men and said corruption was crippling the fortunes of the country gradually and could be reduced when women were given the necessary support to hold responsible leadership positions in the governance system.
He said it was sad to note that women, who formed more than 50 per cent of the country’s population, had low representation in governance and attributed the cause to entrenched cultural misconceptions and beliefs that relegated them to the kitchen.
Mr Oduro indicated that for the country to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, collective efforts had to be made to remove the paternalistic instinct in people and work towards eradicating all injustices that prevented women from participating in the decision making processes.
Mr Sheriff Amarh, the Head of Research, NALAG, disclosed that statistics in the country showed that women constituted about 51.2 per cent of the population, however, only two and three were Regional Ministers and Deputies respectively, which was woefully under represented.
Out of the 275 parliamentarians, only 36, representing 13 per cent were women, while only 40 out of the 260 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) were women.
In addition, only eight women were Presiding Members out of 260 Assemblies, while only 645 out of 9,000 Assembly members are women.
Hajia Mariam Iddrisu, the Municipal Chief Executive of Sagnarigu in the Northern Region and Representative of NALAG women’s caucus, stated that the issue of gender inequalities especially in governance needed to be addressed from the homes and schools to help demystify the misconceptions that women could not play productive roles in the country’s development.
She said while the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill into law was crucial to addressing some of the challenges confronting women participation in governance, there was the need for women to rally behind their colleague women irrespective of political affiliation.