Source: Peace FM Online
A demographic survey has revealed that one of the reasons for the low women representation in the national and local governance system in the Northern Region is that husbands threaten their wives not to vote for women candidates contesting against men.

The study also revealed that a number of women were harassed, intimidated and insulted by their husbands and more especially their fellow women for contesting elected positions with men.

Other challenges that accounted for the low women representation included threats by men to seize the voter identification (ID) cards of women who openly threw their weight behind female candidates, lack of funds to support campaigns, male dominated partisan politics in the region, women contesting each other in the same electoral area and social functions such as funerals and Christmas.

The Supporting Women’s Participation in Elections (SWOPE) project of the Ghana Developing Communities Association (GDCA) in the Northern Region made these findings known during its media briefing on Tuesday regarding the project implementation status.

The study, which was in collaboration with Integrated Developing Communities (IDC), was a post-mortem review of major interventions made in the region to increase women participation in national and local governance.

In her address, the Project Coordinator of SWOPE, Madam Iddrisu Khadijah, said the survey was conducted in six districts; namely, Tamale, Yendi, Saboba, Central Gonja, Nanumba North and South districts of the region.

“The overall objective of the intervention is to strengthen and enhance women’s participation and representation in governance at the local and national levels and to increase civic awareness for support for women in politics in the region,” Madam Khadijah said.

Madam Khadijah said their project collaborated with the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) in the region to inculcate political tolerance among chiefs, representatives of political parties, youth leaders, women groups and the general public.

According to the Coordinator, the SWOPE project targeted 90 potential women aspirants, out of which 71 were profiled, with only 48 filing with the Electoral Commission (EC).

The Advocacy and Communications Officer of GDCA, Mrs Rosemond Kumah, said several radio programmes and community durbars were organised to canvass support for women aspirants across the region.

“A total of 23 community durbars and 18 democracy platforms were successfully organised to garner support for the women, including six capacity-building workshops on public speaking skills, resource mobilisation, lobbying and campaigning tools for women aspirants in the selected study districts,” she said.

Mrs Rosemond Kumah called on the media to project positive images about courageous women who venture into leadership positions in order to pave the way for increased women participation at local and national levels.

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