Women’s rights organization, Women in Law and Development in Africa (WILDAF) has welcomed calls by Minority leader, Haruna Iddrissu for an additional 25 parliamentary seats to be reserved solely for women.
Making suggestions as part of deliberations on women in politics in Parliament, Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, wanted the number of seats in the House increased from 275 to 300, with 25 reserved seats for women.
According to the Tamale South MP, the extra 25 seats will reflect the size and strength of the political parties in Parliament and will help encourage women empowerment in the country.
Frank Wilson Gboja, Programs Manager at WILDAF has told Citi News, the proposal is in the right direction.
“We have observed that during debates in parliament, an average of four men talk before one woman speaks. This is because of the disproportional number of women in parliament.”
“So we support this proposal because that is all what affirmative action law talks about if we want to achieve greater number of women in parliament and stop talking about the law in the future”, he noted.
Women participation in parliament
With currently 37 women MPs, Ghana’s Parliament is still far off from the 30 percent mark set by the United Nations for women representation.
Ghana has however made some marginal progress in recent times, with the 2016 election increasing the number of elected women from 30, representing 10.9 percent, in 2012, to 37, representing 13.5 percent.
The UN has noted that, as of June 2016 only 22.8 per cent of all national parliamentarians were women, a slow increase from 11.3 percent in 1995.
The UN also notes that as of January 2017, only 18.3 per cent of government ministers were women.
The most commonly held portfolios held by women ministers are in environment, natural resources, and energy, followed by social sectors, such as social affairs, education and the family.
Speaker of Parliament’s stance
The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye, has commented on this issue before saying the country must adopt measures to increase the participation of women in politics.
He said affirmative action could be one of the ways to increase women participation in politics for the country to catch up with the agenda of the all-inclusive government.
Prof Oquaye noted the worldwide ranking of women participation in governance which pegged Ghana at the 143rd position out of 193 countries surveyed.
By: Nii Larte Lartey & Marie-Franz Fodjoe | citinewsroom.com |Ghana