‘More women needed in Parliament’

BY: Dennis Agyei Boateng
The participants and stakeholders at the workshop
The participants and stakeholders at the workshop

The Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament, Ms Sarah Adwoa Safo, has underscored the need to intensify capacity building to get more women in Parliament. 

She said the current Parliament had 37 women, a figure which did not represent the 52 per cent women population in Ghana.

Capacity building

Ms Safo said this at a workshop organised by Parliament, in collaboration with the Friedrich Ebert Stifung and Abantu for Development, for the Women Caucus in Parliament and other stakeholders in Koforidua last Saturday.

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Ms Safo, who is the Chairperson of the Women Caucus in Parliament, noted that in the quest to increase women representation in Parliament, there should be capacity-building workshops for women and young ladies in the various constituencies.

"We need to mentor the women and ladies in the constituencies, so that we can get 50 per cent and more women representation in Parliament to facilitate the passage of bills or policies in favour of women,” she said.

"The current number of women representation shows we have a long way to go and a lot of work to do, but if we cannot achieve 50 per cent or more, the next generation will work to continue the fight to achieve it," she said.

Legislative Instrument

In a presentation on the theme: ‘Enhancing capacities towards a gender-sensitive Parliament’, an international consultant on gender, social development and peace-building, Mrs Joana Adzoa Opare, indicated that Ghana had all the legislative instruments (LIs) to promote gender equality.

Highlighting some of the international, national and regional LIs, including the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Convention on the Right of the Child (CRC), the ECOWAS Gender Policy and Article 28 of the 1992 Constitution, she noted that women had equal opportunities as men and, therefore, women should fight for their rights.

Knowing the various LIs as women in Parliament, Mrs Opare noted, would enable them to formulate better and more equitable laws.

Gender equality
The Programmes Manager of Abantu for Development, Mrs Hamida Harrison, indicated that there was a need for collaboration with Parliament because training women in Parliament would in turn promote social democracy, equality, peace and security in the country.

"We are confident that the training will establish women policy makers to promote access to leadership and equal representation in Parliament," she said.