Women representation in parliament unimpressive – Ibn Chambas

The United Nations Special Representative and Head of UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel, Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, has bemoaned the paltry number of women in Ghana’s politics. 

He said for a nation with over 50 per cent of its population being women; it was unfortunate that the country could only boast of 16 per cent female representation in parliament.

“We know the youthful profile and active role of our Ghanaian women particularly when it comes to electoral campaigns, [and] Of course, the role of our women which is not reflected post-elections in the distribution of the goodies.

“I see that in parliament, we don’t seem to be improving on that… I know that in the past, it had gone up to 20 per cent, so it is not a happy story today to say that the gender representation is hovering around 16 per cent. We can do more,” he urged.

He spoke during a post-election stakeholder review workshop on the 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary elections organized by the Coalition Of Domestic Elections Observers – CODEO.

According to Dr Chambas, women have over the years demonstrated their importance in Ghana’s electoral processes and must not be relegated post-election.

“Women and youth groups demonstrated that they remain key actors to a peaceful electoral process. Through different initiatives, communities were mobilized to promote peaceful elections, and we must endeavour to give them a central role in our electoral process going forward.”

President Akufo-Addo has so far selected his ministers and deputy ministers to help him in his second term of office.

In his latest nomination for deputy ministers, only 10 out of 39 were women, representing 25 per cent of the nominees.

But Dr Chambas wants more female appointments into political office.

“I think it’s long overdue, and so our executive should be talking of a minimum of 30 per cent of our female population who represents over 50 per cent of our national population.”

Women in politics

Even though more women are gaining an interest in politics, they are disproportionately represented compared to their male counterparts.

Ghana’s 2020 election made history by electing the highest number of women in the Fourth Republican history.

An analysis by theghanareport.com shows that out of the almost 2,000 candidates elected to Ghana’s Parliament since the return to constitutional governance in 1992, only 134 are women.

It is a statistic that raises serious questions about the politics of inclusion, especially when women constitute more than 50% of Ghana’s population.

 

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