IEA to aid aspiring women MPs
By Fatima Adam
A senior fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), Brigadier Francis Agyemfra (rtd), has announced that his organisation would leave no stone unturned to equip aspiring female parliamentary candidates to ensure their active participation in politics and governance.
According to him, the position being played by women in national development cannot be undermined, as evidenced by their roles in the economy, agriculture, households, food processing, among others.
Mr. Agyemfra stated that even with these various contributions, their participation and representation in public decision making was yet to be recognised, given the example of fewer women representation in managerial positions.
“For instance, Ghanaian women occupy only a small percentage of managerial positions. In government, only three women are in the Cabinet, while in the diplomatic corps, only nine women hold ambassadorial ranks. In Parliament, the number has dropped to nineteen. Ghanaian women have, therefore, not reached the United Nations (UN) minimum 30 percent threshold,” he lamented.
This, he described as unacceptable and an injustice, especially for a nation with the number of women outnumbering men – actually, “2.5 million women more than men.”
He made the above pronouncement at the second four-day capacity building workshop for aspiring female parliamentary candidates held in Cape Coast.
The workshop, christened ‘Strengthening the capacity of female candidates in election 2012’, is said to follow the first workshop which was held last month at Akosombo, to ensure women participation in politics.
Mr. Agyemfra announced that it was in this regard that the IEA, UN and the UNDP have, since August 2011, been organising workshops for aspiring female parliamentary candidates, focusing on strategies for increased participation of women in politics and governance, and capacity building of the women aspirants.
He said that the workshop would further equip the participants in areas such as electoral laws, networking, analysis of party manifestos, and the development of campaign messages, among others.
“IEA and its partners are leaving no stone unturned to equip you, the aspiring women parliamentary candidates, with the requisite skills and knowledge to enable you to better participate in national political process, and I am assure that the deliberations of the next three days will improve your skills, to enable you to successfully run for political office.”
In attendance at the workshop were aspirants from the National Democratic Congress (NDC), New Patriotic Party (NPP), Convention People’s Party (CPP), Progressive People’s Party (PPP) and People’s National Convention (PNC).
Some of the aspirants, who were present at the first workshop at Akosombo, were made to answer questions based on the topic areas studied, to see if the aspirants were benefiting from the training.
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