Electoral Commission (EC), chairperson Charlotte Osei has urged Ghanaian women to cultivate an unshakable confidence in the plans and purposes of the Almighty God in their lives.
Mrs Osei said she was of the belief that women must dedicate themselves to a higher cause that was for family, the community in the working environment and the country as they strived for equality.
Speaking at a forum for Christian women, under the Christian Council of Ghana/Christian Aid’s Women in governance project, in Accra, the EC Chairperson acknowledged the numerous hardships society threw at women, especially where they aspired for higher positions.
She warned that the rightful admission of women to the hitherto male-dominated boardrooms, the greater equality in legislative rights and an increased visibility of women as role models, should not be misconstrued as women gaining equality in society.
Ghana News Headlines
For latest news in Ghana, visit Graphic Online news headlines page Ghana news page
Mrs Osei continued that women were still not present in equal numbers in business or politics, saying only 12.7 per cent of parliamentarians were female while data from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) showed that 76 per cent of all men of working age were in the workforce, compared to 49.6 per cent for women.
According to Mrs Osei, the situation was not improving, as it appeared there was an established culture in Ghana, where men and very sadly some women believed that no woman was competent enough in her own right to merit appointment to very high offices.
The EC Chairperson said surmounting the challenges would require the cultivation of some principles such as “building a community of supporters not detractors, and interacting with competent people willing to tell you the truth no matter how hurtful it may be.”
She urged women to build personal value systems, saying, ‘‘You must be clear in your mind that character is different from reputation…the values you want to see in the world…should reflect in you’’.
A former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, regretted that women who managed to break the barriers in society found themselves in a ‘man’s club’ where they were forced to adopt a male culture in order to fit in.
She commended the Christian Council of Ghana’s Women in Governance programme for creating a platform that allowed women to share their stories, and also for taking great strides to improve the representation of women in leadership positions in churches.
The Founder of Salt and Light Ministries, and Chairperson of the event, Ms Joyce Aryee, encouraged women to take up their meaningful role as agents of change and transformation in society.
According to her, even the successes of men had often been precipitated by the ideas of women that had worked firmly behind them in various domestic and professional capacities.
She expressed the hope that the coming years would continue to witness the emancipation of women in all facets of society.
The Women in Governance Programme is a three-year project being run by the Christian Council of Ghana, under the sponsorship of Christian Aid.
It is designed to empower women to be able to effectively participate in decision making at all levels of the Church.