The involvement of more women in the governance structures of the country will help reduce corruption and ensure sustainable national development, the Dean of Studies and Research, Institute of Local Government Studies, Mr Frederick Agyarko Oduro, has observed.
He explained that more women were honest, disciplined and better managers of the economy than most men, and corruption could be significantly reduced if women were given the necessary support to hold responsible leadership positions in the governance system.
Mr Oduro made the observation at a sensitisation forum on decentralisation, which was jointly organised by the Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS) and the National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG) and Inter-Ministerial Coordinating Committee (IMCC), at Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region, on Tuesday.
The nationwide programme, sought to sensitise and empower women to actively participate in governance, especially the 2019 district level elections, to increase women’s involvement in the decision making processes of the country.
It brought together women assembly members and members of women groups in the region.
Mr Oduro said there was the need for pragmatic policies and programmes to promote more women involvement in governance, and stated that Ghana needed to take clue from progressive countries like Rwanda and Ethiopia, where majority of women have been supported to participate actively in the governance of the country.
He expressed worry that in Ghana, a few women have been given responsible positions in the governance, which was negatively affecting development.
Mr Oduro said statistics in the country revealed that women constituted about 51.2 per cent of the population; however, only two and three are regional ministers and deputies respectively, which was woefully under represented.
He said out of the 275 parliamentarians, only 36, representing 13 per cent are women, while only 40 out of the 260 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) are women.
Mr Oduro revealed that only eight women are Presiding Members out of 260 assemblies, while only 645 out of 9,000 assembly members are women.
The Municipal Chief Executive of Sagnarigu in the Northern Region and representative of NALAG women’s caucus, Hajia Marian Iddrisu, stated that the issue of gender inequalities, especially in governance, needed to be addressed at the homes and schools.
This, she said, would help demystify the misconceptions that women could not play productive roles in the country’s development.
Hajia Iddrisu said whilst the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill into law was a crucial step in addressing challenges confronting women’s participation in governance, there was the need for women to rally behind their colleagues, irrespective of their political affiliation.