Accra, Sept. 15, GNA – The Foundation for Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA) has called for extraordinary measures to increase women’s representation in Parliament.
A statement issued by Mrs Theodora W. Anti, the Executive Director, FOSDA, copied to the Ghana News Agency said the current representation of women in Ghana’s Parliament was under serious threat if stakeholders do not take extraordinary measures to improve the situation.
She noted that currently, women constituted about 15 per cent of Ghana’s parliament with 40 women Parliamentarians out of the total 275.
She said although this number fell short of the international best practice of 30 per cent representation, it risks further decline in December 2024 when Ghana goes to the polls to elect Parliamentarians for the 10th Parliament under the Fourth Republic.
She noted that FOSDA’s analysis of the results of the recent parliamentary primaries conducted by the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the leading opposition political party, indicated that the NDC had nominated a total of 32 women to contest in the 2024 national parliamentary elections.
Mrs Anti said this number constituted 12 per cent of the total 275 nominated parliamentary candidates.
Adding that interestingly, the NDC nominated a similar number of women, 33 in 2019 to contest the 2020 parliamentary elections, out of which 20 were elected.
She said the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) was yet to go for primaries to nominate its parliamentary candidate for the 2024 General elections.
« However, it is worth noting that the NPP also nominated 33 female candidates, representing 12 per cent, to contest the Parliamentary elections in 2020.
Like the NDC, 20 women out of the 33 won the elections, » she said.
« A total of 62 women contested the NPP primaries for the 2020 elections out of 485 candidates representing 12.78 per cent ».
Mrs Anti said the promise of an Affirmative Action law on Gender Equality in Ghana started in 2011 when the Gender Ministry set up a 21-member committee to research and make proposals for a bill.
She said after over a decade, this promise was yet to be a reality, especially for Ghanaian women who were significantly underrepresented in Ghana’s Parliament, local governance, and other decision-making circles.
« FOSDA is calling on the Government of Ghana and the President of the Republic of Ghana to ensure the passage of the Affirmative Action on Gender Equality before the 2024 General Elections, » Mrs Anti said.
She said the Bill, when passed into law, would ensure a boost in women’s representation in parliament and other Governance Structures.
She said FOSDA also urges Political Parties who had not yet conducted their parliamentary primaries for the 2024 Parliamentary elections to adopt policies and measures that would support women and ensure more female candidates were nominated to contest and win the 2024 parliamentary elections.
Mrs Anti said additionally, it was also critical for women to support their fellow women and vote for competent and credible women.
She reiterated that it was also crucial for all stakeholders including civil society organizations, and development partners to support women who were willing to contest the elections.