Friday, March 19, 2010

Women Urged to Participate actively in Governance

Women Urged to Participate actively in Governance
The Ghanaian Times; Friday, March 19, 2010; Page 23
Samuel Opare

The Eastern Regional Director of the NCCE, Mar Eric Bortey, has said that the nature of political campaigns in the country have not helped women to participate actively in the governance of the country since independence. “At certain times too”, he explained, “the language used on certain platforms during campaigns prevent or discourage women to get involved in politics.” Mr. Bortey said this at a two day empowerment workshop for women in all the electoral areas in the Suhum Kraboa Coaltar District (SKCD) at Suhum.

It was organized by the NCCE in collaboration with the World Vision International under the theme “Effective participation of women in decision making at the district assemblies and local level.”
Wrongly too, he said “most people think that any woman who openly joins and participate in political activities is a harlot, witch, man-woman or an iron lady.”

Much has not been achieved in the nation’s decentralization and political agenda since 1988 because of lack of women participation in the local government system, “the NCCE Regional Director stated.

Mr. Bortey therefore challenged women in the country to come out of their shells and take up their place in the nation’s democratic system.

“Do not allow Accra alone to be the seat of government, irrespective of your party affiliation, let us all join hands to move Ghana democracy forward,” he said, pointing out that “women are in the majority but when it comes to decision and participation in the local governance of the nation, they are in the minority.”

Women’s failures in decision making, Mr Bortey said was due to their attitudes toward themselves, societal and family influence, educational background, defeating attitude, traditional/cultural influence and the nature of the political campaign in the country.

Above all he observed that “Women have accepted from time past that politics is for men.” Mr. Bortey appealed to the women to get involved in the local government of the nation because they have a lot to offer to the development of the nation through their participation in decision-making at the local levels. He taught the women how to write manifestos and how to speak in public and advised them to present themselves to be voted for the area, Town, Zonal, Urban and any position in the Local Council elections. “This is where you can learn and build your confidence to attain your vision in Ghana’s political arena” said the NCCE Director.

The Acting District Director of NCCE, Mr. Cephas Kofi Agboada said that the district assembly system is the most competent structure in Ghana because that is the bedrock of the nation and therefore the work of any assembly woman is very important.

He explained that decision-making is a very important process in which women would need to be actively involved if their needs and concerns are to be adequately met.

He said the nation’s district assemblies would be very effective, strong, richer and democratic if the people stop the discrimination but encourage women to get involved in the activities of local government. The programme was chaired by the SKCD Director of CHRAJ, Mrs. Anyeley Ayeng Cole and supported by the queen mother of Suhum, Nana Yaa Sakyibea.

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