The National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG) has stated that it has drawn up a strategy to get more women elected into the local assemblies.
The strategy includes building the capacities of women aspiring to contest this year’s district level elections, creating a stronger network of women in local government through NALAG’s Women’s Forum, and creating the platform for shared learning and mentoring for new aspiring assembly members.
In a message to commemorate the International Women’s Day last Saturday, NALAG observed with concern the low participation of women in local governance.
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The statement signed by the Women’s Caucus Representative at NALAG said, Madam Evelyn Teiko Asenih, “Women are underrepresented in both elected and appointed positions in all the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in Ghana. This worrying trend seeks to reduce women’s involvement in decision making at the local level.”
It, therefore called on all stakeholders including industry, government, educational institutions, professional associations, women’s networks, non-profit bodies and the media to join in the campaign to promote a gender-balanced society for grass-roots development in the assemblies.
The NALAG said the International Women’s Day provided an important moment to showcase commitment to women’s equality, launch new initiatives, celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness, and highlights gender parity gains.
“It must be noted that issues of water, sanitation, health and education which are at the base of development are women related issues,” it said.
The association said the World Bank in 2005 indicated that gender inequality disadvantaged women throughout their lives and stifled the development prospects of their societies.
“NALAG challenges women across the globe to embark on projects and programmes that will make them more relevant and indispensable in decision making at the local and national levels,” it stated.
The International Women’s Day is celebrated and supported globally by industry, government, educational institutions, community groups, professional associations, women’s networks, non-profit bodies and the media.
This year’s celebration was on the theme, “Balance for Better”, and it sought to bridge the gender gap by promoting and celebrating women’s achievement, raising awareness against bias and taking action for equality.