Ms Glory Ofori-Boadu, former Executive Director of International Federation of Women Lawyers, (FIDA-Ghana) on Monday tasked political parties desirous of contesting for Elections 2020 to adopt a comprehensive approach to increase women’s participation in power and decision-making.
She said Elections 2020 offers political parties especially the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) the opportunity to demonstrate a commitment to gender empowerment through providing the needed support towards capacity building, training, and dedicated gender equality structures.
Ms Ofori-Boadu in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra, said in the spirit of Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, NPP and NDC, in particular, must set reinvigorated targets to ensure that women win appreciable parliamentary seats to occupy their rightful positions in power and decision-making of the country.
She noted that in 2015, Ghanaian Women adopted the ‘Ghana Agenda 2030’, which is a 15-year gender empowerment project with a checklist to serve as the benchmark for measuring results by 2030.
She said Ghanaian Women sought through the Ghana Agenda 2030, to ensure that women occupied 60 per cent of Ministerial portfolios, especially Finance, Energy, Education and Health.
Ghana Agenda 2030 developed under the guidance of Nana Oye Lithur, former Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, emanated from UN Women Agenda 2030, also called for measures to ensure that 50 per cent of Vice-Chancellors and University Professors must be women.
Women should also take about 60 per cent of the positions of State Corporation Chief Executive Officers; Ghana Club 100 Chief Executive Officers and Bank Chief Executive Officers.
Ms. Gloria Ofori-Boadu, aspiring to represent the chiefs and people of Abuakwa South Constituency in Parliament, on the ticket of the NPP, revealed that the Ghana Women 2030 reinvigorated Beijing Declaration was christened at the 59 sessions of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women at New York in 2015.
The Ghana Women 2030 target also aims at 60 per cent of Parliamentary seats, 60 per cent of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives post; and 60 per cent of Assembly and Unit Committee members.
Ms Ofori-Boadu a seasoned Gender Advocate, explained that the persistence of discrimination, gender bias, and the threat of violence, harassment, and intimidation in political institutions, contribute to the low level of women’s political participation.
She said accelerating women’s participation in decision-making required a comprehensive approach; the implementation of temporary special measures to achieve a gender balance in decision-making bodies, and capacity building and training initiatives to support women’s political participation at the local and national levels.
She said political will on the part of leaders in public and private institutions, including political parties, was needed to ensure their effective implementation, and bring about further and faster progress.
Other measures such as public financing of political parties, including incentives to advance gender equality and increase women’s representation can also make a difference.
The Abukwa South Constituency Parliamentary Aspirants noted that violence against women in politics must also be addressed as an urgent priority through the implementation and enforcement of appropriate legislations.
“Efforts are needed to increase women’s agency and voice starting from the household level, to community and local levels, and to national, regional and global levels.
Importantly, mechanisms should be promoted to facilitate relationships between women’s organizations and women representatives to advance gender equality policies. In order to further galvanize progress on women’s representation beyond national parliaments, more and better quality data is needed,” Ms Ofori-Boadu noted.
Ms. Ofori-Boadu, who is the President of Women’s Assistance and Business Association (WABA), said it was time for the Abukwa South Constituency to be represented by a development-oriented person.
The aspirant, a Gender and Human Rights Advocate, said she will put in place a mechanism to involve the regional and constituency officers to work closely with the constituents to understand the progressive agenda of the NPP government.
“If elected, I will also create a consistent and regular consultative platform to engage traditional and opinion leaders, women and youth groups, vulnerable people, and other identifiable groups and personalities to brainstorm on development initiatives,” she added.
She would collaborate with the Abuakwa South Municipal Assembly and the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation to regulate small-scale mining in the Constituency.
Abuakwa South Constituency is in the Eastern Region of Ghana and has Mr. Samuel Atta-Akyea, as the incumbent Member of Parliament since 2008.
Ms. Ofori-Boadu, a native of Akyem-Asafo, is a legal practitioner.
Source: GNA / Daakye Hene