Gov’t urged to increase women participation in governance to meet 2015 MDG target

Government has been urged to increase the number of women in political decision making structures to meet the 30 per cent representation set out in the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target.

Mr Frank Wilson Bodza, Programme Manager, Governance, Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF) made the call at a media soiree in Accra.

WiLDAF is a Pan African Non-Governmental Organisation dedicated to championing women’s rights.

The soiree dubbed: “Focusing on Women in the 2012 General Elections,” was aimed at canvassing more support for women in the upcoming elections and give a platform for journalists to share their experiences with women in governance.

Mr Bodza noted that there had not been significant increase in women  representation in governance hence the need to beef up more support for them at the district, regional and national levels.

He described Election 2012 as crucial to women because it was the last general elections to the 2015 MDG’s target of at least getting 30 per cent representation of women in political decision making structures.

With the proposed 251 seats in Parliament, Mr Bodza said the nation needed 100 women in Parliament to ensure an increase in the number of women Ministers of State.

“We need 80 out of 230 if we maintain current arrangements,” he added.

He recounted that women had continued to engage in productive ventures and contributed to improving the country’s economy yet their representation remained low.

Mr Bodza recalled that in 1966, only 19 women were in Ghana’s Parliament while in 1969, the number reduced to only one following brutalities meted out to them.

He therefore charged the media to bring women in the limelight by profiling women in politics and women achievers to encourage their colleagues.

Mr Bodza entreated the media to focus on the achievements of women and their capabilities and allocate more airtime and space in their publications for those who would be contesting Election 2012.

He said although some platforms were offered to women during elections, the media should endeavour to follow up after their elections in offices and highlight on their successes.

Mrs Bernice Sam, National Programme Coordinator, WiLDAF, urged women to ascertain from political parties what programmes had been outlined in their manifestoes to increase women participation in governance.

She commended the media for its enormous contribution towards women in politics.

Some journalists expressed their misgivings about women who after attaining positions shunned the media when they were called on to share their views on issues.

They contended that when some women were approached, they rather directed the journalists to the men for the needed information.

Source: GNA

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