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MPs call for massive vote for women in local elections

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Mrs Gifty Ohene-Konadu, NPP Member of Parliament for Asante Akyem South, on Thursday, called for massive support for women candidates in the impending district level elections, scheduled for December 28.

She said: “to vote for women is to vote for unity, progress and development.”

Mrs Ohene-Konadu, who was delivering a statement, in Parliament, in Accra, called on women to boldly take advantage of the situation to put themselves up as candidates and solicit the support of their communities to be voted for as assembly women.

She said women’s participation in local government would give them the necessary grooming to take up higher offices such as Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives and further more to Parliament and beyond.

She said the local government level was a strategic ground for the struggle of promotion of gender equity.

She rejected the assumption that women could contest and win elections to the local government easily because that level was the closest to the people in general and women in particular.

She expressed regret that that in spite of the significance of local government in the lives of women gender activists had largely ignored local government as a site of struggle for gender equity.

Mrs Ohene-Konadu noted that the right of women to vote in all elections and be eligible for election to elected bodies was enshrined in the international instruments, including the Convention on the Political Rights of Women 1953 and the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights 1916.

She stated that these conventions also required States to create the condition that facilitate passing affirmative action legislation and eliminate gender restrictions for occupying certain offices.

Commenting on the statement, Mrs Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, NPP member for Ayawaso West Wuogon, called on politicians, the media, civil society groups and the public to advocate for women participation in governance.

She said the authorities had paid lip services to deepen women’s participation in governance for long, adding that: “there is no commitment to that effect – its time we walk the talk.”

She called for the review of the constitution to give women compulsory seats both at the local level and in Parliament, including other levels of governance.

Ms Akua Sena Dansua, NDC member for North Dayi and Minister for Youth and Sports, said women all over the world were known to manage affairs well for the benefit of the majority of the people.

She stated that women in positions of trust combine management of the home with officialdom and called on men to assist spouses at home.

Ms Cecilia Dapaah, NPP member for Bantama said women were prime agents of change, development and progress.

She noted that women are politically tolerant, adding that, most of the political crises that the country experienced were brewed by men.

She called on President John Evan Atta Mills to fulfil his 40 percent women participation in governance promise.

Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka, NDC member for Asawase said research had shown that women’s involvement in governance in India had drastically reduced sanitation, water and health problems.

Quoting from article 17 of the 1992 Constitution, he said women consist about 51 percent of Ghana’s population and called for a fair representation of women.

He added that even in Parliament, the population of women was only 10 percent.

He said the on going constitutional review was a good opportunity to correct the imbalances.

He made reference to Rwanda and Uganda who gave compulsory seats to women in Parliament and other areas of governance.

Mr Ambrose Dery, Deputy Minority Leader and NPP member for Lawra /Nandom, said there must be some legislation as a way of addressing the imbalance in women’s participation in governance.

He noted that since women formed the majority of the population of Ghana they must be fairly represented.

Two papers: A loan facility between the government of Ghana and the government of Austria through Unicredit Bank AG (Bank Austria Creditanstalt AG) for an amount of 7,980,000.00 Euros for the construction and equipping of five Polyclinics in the Upper West Region and the annual report of the Lands Commission for the year 2009 were laid.

Source: GNA

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