Ghana’s 2008 Elections and Women’s Participation in Politics
From 1993 to date,
In recognition of such abuses, the 1992 Constitution includes provisions dedicated to fundamental human rights and freedoms. It also establishes very important state mechanisms for promotion and protection of human rights, including the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice and the National Commission for Civic Education.
It is generally accepted that protection of human rights since
Throughout this difficult history, women suffered dramatically from abuses of the human rights. Form independence, through the authoritarian regimes, and to the present constitutional dispensation, the women’s human rights agenda has not attained the level of success achieved by other areas of human rights.
At the Africa Union level,
The 1992 Constitution of Ghana (Article 17) prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender. An Affirmative Action Policy of 1998 provides for 40 per cent quota of women’s representation on all government and public boards, commissions, councils, committees and official bodies including Cabinet and Council of State.
In 2005, a report submitted by NGOs at
In 2006, at the review of
The fact was endorsed in the NGO Shadow Report co-ordinated by WiLDAF
In 2006, a survey carried out by WiLDAF on the implementation of the Solemn Declaration in 11 West African countries, pointed that despite efforts to promote women’s rights, low representation of women in political life and decision making was still a concern. [Implementation of the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality-Shadow Report of West African Civil Society Organisations, 2007 p.2]
Situation on the Ground
Although there is no law in
There seems to be no long-term strategic framework put in place to address this failure. This failure had been attributed to a lack of political will and a deficient commitment to gender equality among political parties. The excuse has been the lack of a pool of eminent women. A databank has been accordingly been established. It remains inchoate, however, owing to weak capacity and ineffective co-ordination of data collection, collation and analysis by the Women’s Ministry.
Women in Parliament
First Parliament of the
Second Parliament of the
Third Parliament of the
Fourth Parliament of the
Activists reacted to the disturbing politics of the 2004 elections by bringing out a non-partisan document, “The Women’s Manifesto for
Women in the decentralised government structures
The introduction in1988 of district assemblies as part of a strategy to decentralised governance also provided an opportunity for women to become more involved in politics. Two entry points into district assemblies were available: as part of the 70 per cent elected members into the assemblies or as part of the 30 per cent appointed by government.
The government policy on the latter was to ensure that at least half of the government appointees would be women. Since this was a non-partisan system, any woman ready to serve the district could contest.
The Government of Ghana should implement the Affirmative Action Policy to increase the number of women in politics and decision-making positions. The government should agree to implementation of a quota system as a means of having more women in politics. Appointment of Ministers of State in the next government (2008-2012) should reflect government’s commitment to bridging the gender gap through a 50/50 policy.