There cannot be any excuse for the low representation of women in the Parliament of Ghana. Currently, women occupy 37 out of the 275 seats in Parliament. This represents only 13.5% of members in parliament.
This is far below the world’s average of 23% It also falls short of the UN recommendation of at least 30% of women’s representation at all levels of decision making. The 2020 parliamentary election provides Ghanaians with another to vote for women to redeem the country’s poor image in the promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women.
Available data shows that only 126 women are contesting the seats, against 788 men in the Parliamentary election. These brave women need to be celebrated for daring to offer themselves for leadership in spite of all the challenges associated with politics. If all of them should be given the nod, Ghana would be applauded, like a number of other African countries that have made significant strides in the promotion of gender equality.
This is doable. Gender statistics from the voters’ register show that of the over 17 million Ghanaians who are eligible to vote, 51.7% are women. These women voters are encouraged to vote for their fellow women who are contesting the elections. The same appeal goes to the over 48% of the registered male voters to vote for the women contestants.
Justification for inclusion of women in leadership
Women in Ghana have over the years contributed immensely towards the country’s development and political life. Women have been part of the independence struggle and continue to contribute resources, time and skills to the growth of the country. In spite of their pivotal role in society at large, they continue to be relegated to the background in public life and decision making.
More than ever before, there is an urgent need to include women in leadership in the midst of the current global crisis. When women lead in government or are in Parliament, they are more likely to prioritise health and well-being of the people. When women participate in peace building processes, the results are more inclusive and more sustainable. There is abundant evidence that when women lead within companies, the companies make more money and have less turnovers. In the same way, when women lead economies, those economies grow.
The global health crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic has sharply demonstrated the power of women’s leadership. Germany, New Zealand, Finland and Barbados are said to have been especially successful in fighting the coronavirus and saving the lives of the their citizens because these countries are being led by women.
Celebrating the Female Presidential Candidates
Three women are contesting will be contesting the presidential slot, with one as a vice-presidential candidate. This is indeed a new dawn for women and Ghana in national leadership. They deserve to be congratulated for the bold step in spite of the numerous challenges, including those of culture, tradition and finance.
Give women contestants a chance
A vote for a female candidate in the 2020 elections is a vote for national growth. There can be no future for men without a future for women. Women deserve the chance to work together with men to make Ghana great. Voting for a woman is not a wasted vote. It is for a better future, of peace, tranquillity and development.