Tuesday, February 5, 2008

'Women as running mates for Election 2008'

‘Women as running mates for Election 2008’

The Ghanaian Times, Tuesday, February 5, 2008. Page 12 (Political News)

Alfred Mortey

The Women’s Manifesto Coalition has stated that the decision to appoint women as running mates by some presidential aspirants can have very limited value if the factors that prevent women from full participation in politics are not tackled.

This was said by Ms. Adwoa Bame, Executive Director of the coalition at a news conference in Accra on Monday.

It was under the theme, “Women as running mates for Election 2008.”

“We welcome the new wave of discussions which aims at selecting women as running mates for election 2008, but if care is not taken, it will become the politically right thing to do, secure women’s votes and then its business as usual,” she said. She said engendering politics goes beyond giving women equal opportunities to participate in politics, it requires a simultaneous work to remove the practical and structural obstacles that hinder their effective involvement in politics.

“It is time for men to begin to see women’s inclusion in decision-making and public life not as a win-lose situation but a recipe for true democracy,” she said. Ms Bame called on political parties to actively and consistently employ quota systems to increase women’s representation and also continue to resocialise Ghanaians on their perception of women in politics.

She said it is time for political parties to stop playing lip service to gender mainstreaming and institute women friendly organisational structures to eliminate existing social inequalities between women and men in decision-making. “Women can perform well as men, if not better, so performance and ability to hitherto used to deny women should be a thing of the past.”

She reiterated a call made at the Beijing platform for Action-World Conference on Women-which states, “Without the active participation of women and the incorporation of women’s perspectives at all levels of decision-making, the goals of equality, development and peace cannot be achieved.”

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