Women’s interest in politics increases, though gender gap remains – Afrobarometer

Ghanaian women’s interest in public affairs and political discussion increased between 2012 and 2015, reversing a decade-long decline, a new analysis of Afrobarometer data indicates. 

This shifting attitude of women toward politics was recorded prior to the seventh presidential and parliamentary election of the fourth Republic, when there was a clarion call for an increase in women’s participation and representation in the country’s politics. 

A statement signed by Madam Josephine Appiah-Nyamekye Afrobarometer Communications Coordinator for Anglophone West Africa, said despite the improvement, Ghanaian women continue to trail men on indicators of political and civic engagement. 

The statement said the analysis was shared by Dr. John Osae-Kwapong, Associate vice president at the University of Findlay in the United States, during a seminar on “Women’s Perspective on Ghana’s 4th Republic through the Eyes of Afrobarometer”. 

Held at the Centre for Democratic Development in Accra, the seminar sought to shed light on the views expressed by women on important questions regarding democratic governance in Ghana.

Key findings were that a majority (54 per cent) of Ghanaian women say they were “somewhat” or “very” interested in public affairs, an increase of 12 percentage points since 2012. 

Similarly, the proportion of women who say they discussed political matters “frequently” grew from 13 per cent in 2012 to 21 per cent in 2015.

Still, on both measures, women trailed men by more than 10 percentage points.

More than three-fourths (78 per cent) of women said that many political parties were needed in order to give voters a real choice, an increase from 55 per cent in 2002.

Women continued to lag behind men in political and civic engagement, such as joining others to raise an issue, contacting leaders, or attending a demonstration, the statement said.

Afrobarometer is a pan-African, non-partisan research network that conducts public attitude surveys on democracy, governance, economic conditions, and related issues in Africa. 

Six rounds of surveys were conducted in up to 37 Africans countries between 1999 and 2016, and Round seven (7) surveys (2016/2018) are currently underway. 

Afrobarometer conducts face-to-face interviews in the language of the respondent’s choice with nationally representative samples.

The Afrobarometer team in Ghana, led by the Centre for Democratic Development, interviewed 2,400 adults in October 2016. 

A sample of this size yields country-level results with a margin of error of +/-2% at a 95 per cent confidence level.

Previous surveys have been conducted in Ghana in 2002, 2005, 2008, 2012, and 2015.

Source: GNA

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