Some political pundits have been advocating the need for political parties to ‘protect’ parliamentary seats being occupied by women in the quest to promote gender balance in the Legislature.
Currently out of 275 legislators in the Seventh Parliament of the Fourth Republic, only 36 are females, obviously not impressive for a country touted as the beacon of democracy in Africa.
Out of the 22 females elected, 12 went unopposed, while 10 were keenly contested by other parliamentary candidates in the 168 constituencies with sitting members of Parliament.
The candidates who went unopposed were Freda Prempeh, Tano North, Mavis Nkansah-Boadu, Afigya Sekyere East, Patricia Appiagyei, Asokwa, Francisca Oteng Mensah, Kwabre East, Mavis Hawa Koomson, Awutu Senya East, Naana Eyiah, Gomoa Central, Nana Dokua Asiamah-Adjei, Akuapem North, and Abena Osei-Asare, Atiwa East.
The rest were Ursula Owusu Ekuful, Ablekuma West, Tina Gifty Naa Ayeley Mensah, Weija-Gbawe, Catherine Abelema Afeku, Evalue-Ajomoro-Gwira, and Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, Prestea Huni-Valley.
Those who were contested by other candidates were Sheila Bartels-Sam, Ablekuma North, Sarah Adwoa Safo, Dome Kwabenya, Darkoa Newman, Okaikwei South, Tangoba Abayage, Navrongo Central, Amma Pomaah Boateng, Juaben, Cynthia Morrison, Agona West, Barbara Asher-Ayisi, Cape Coast North, Gifty Twum Ampofo, Abuakwa North, Abena Duruwaa Mensah, Assin North, and Lariba Abudu, Walewale.
A total of 374 aspirants contested in the 168 constituencies where the NPP has sitting MPs. They comprise 325 males and 51 females.
Sixty-five candidates went unopposed and were endorsed through acclamation in their respective constituencies.
It is imperative that the major political parties in the country found ways of reviewing their mode of electing candidates to contest on their tickets in order to favour female parliamentary aspirants and protect female legislators.
As a nation, it is time we took a firm decision on female participation in the governance process since 51 per cent of the population are females to champion the cause of women better.
It is hoped that the Affirmative Action Bill, which is currently before Parliament, would be passed into law soon to promote women’s voice and participation in the country’s fledgling democracy.
By Hilda Eunice Ampomah