Source: Ghana News Agency
Madam Christina Amarchey, Brong Ahafo Regional programmes manager of Actionaid Ghana, has called for an enabling legislation to enforce the government’s directive on the inclusion of least 40 per cent of women in all national institutions.


She extended the call to political leaders to use affirmative action to enable more women to stand as parliamentary candidates in safe constituencies in the 2012 elections.


Madam Amarchey was addressing the opening of an annual girls’ leadership conference in Sunyani aimed at preparing girls for leadership roles in private and public duties for 60 junior and Senior High School female students in Asutifi and Tain districts of the Brong Ahafo Region.


She said there was no female Member of Parliament in the region and only one District Chief Executive was a female, adding, only 49 women won the district level elections, whilst 28 per cent were chosen as government appointees to the district and municipal assemblies.


“At the national level, out of the 230-member legislature only 20 are women, indicating a reduction from 25 in 2004 and out of the 28 ministers and 29 deputy ministers only six are women”, the regional programmes manager recounted.


According to Madam Amarchey, the situation could be reversed if conscious efforts were made by political and traditional leaders and society at large to promote the political rights of women through affirmative action.


She emphasized the need for traditional and religious leaders to redouble efforts to help eliminate violence against women, which tended to damp their self esteem.


The programmes manager advised that equal sharing of responsibilities between men and women as well as girls and boys in the house could enhance women’s participation in governance and decision making processes, which was vital to national development.


She urged women to regard themselves as equal partners to their male counterparts and offer themselves for leadership roles in their respective institutions.


The participating girls would be taken through topics including; leadership, career development, assertiveness and management of peer pressure, violence against girls and adolescent reproductive health.


Actionaid Ghana has since its inception in the region in 2000 contributed in promoting women’s rights, including eliminating cultural practices inimical to the progress of women such as domestic violence and abusive widowhood rites aside its thematic area of education and food rights.


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