Swiss ambassador calls for increase participation of women in politics
The Switzerland Ambassador to Ghana, Benin and Togo, Simone Giger, has called for more women participation in politics and governance in the country.
She said it was necessary for women to show more interest in politics and governance to help deepen the nation’s democratic dispensation.
Ambassador Giger, who made the call during the celebration of Swiss National Day at the Swiss Residence in Accra, said the month of August marked the 732nd anniversary of Switzerland’s mythological founding.
She said it was not only a moment of celebration but also an opportunity for introspection and a chance to examine the ideals “we stand for as a nation”.
“My country Switzerland is renowned for its unity in diversity, with four cultures and languages coexisting harmoniously,” Ms Giger added.
Present at the event were the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, other government officials, traditional leaders and members of the diplomatic corps
While acknowledging the recognition and participation of women in other sectors of national development, the ambassador said their involvement in politics in the country was minimal.
“Moving to Ghana a year ago, I have been impressed by how many women hold influential positions across various spheres in the private sector, the academia, the creative industries, ministries and agencies and the judicial system, yet there remains a notable gender gap in politics,” she said.
Ambassador Giger commended Ghana for creating an environment that had ensured peaceful coexistence in the midst of its religious and ethnic diversity, and likened it to Switzerland's principles of unity in diversity.
Strengthening of ties
The ambassador further pledged to deepen the bond between Switzerland and Ghana which spanned nearly two centuries since the arrival of the Basel Missionaries to the Gold Coast.
She said Switzerland was a vital trading partner of Ghana and added that “our total trade with Ghana reached a record $3.6 billion in 2022, out of which about $3.4 billion were exports from Ghana to Switzerland.
“For emphasis, half (actually 50.4 per cent) of all Ghana’s exports to Europe go to Switzerland, with over 50 Swiss companies making Ghana their home, providing jobs and contributing to the economy,” Ms Giger added.
For his part, Mr Baffour-Awuah said the two countries had shared values and mutual understanding and were also committed to democracy, trade and investments.
“Due to the peaceful social and political climate in the country, bilateral trade volumes between the countries shot up from $1 billion in 2019, to $2.5 million in 2020”.
The minister mentioned cocoa and gold as Ghana’s major exports to Switzerland, and that following the development of the non-traditional sector in the country, products such as pineapples, vegetables, medicinal plants and herbs had been included in the export list.