THE Brong Ahafo Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) has pledged its maximum support for all prospective women candidates contesting the forthcoming District Assembly election in the region to ensure that more women are elected as assembly members.
Subsequently, the RCC has directed all the 22 Municipal and District Assemblies (MDAs) in the region to give all female candidates the same level of support to ensure that women did not only participate in the district level election, but also win.
Mr Eric Opoku, the Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, made the pledge at the opening of a three-day trainer of trainers’ workshop for 50 selected women aspirants for the forthcoming District Level Election in the region at Fiapre in the Sunyani West District .
"I would like to use this platform to encourage as many women as possible to stand for the forthcoming local government election," he stressed.
The Government of Ghana, Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance and the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) sponsored the capacity-building workshop organised by the Brong Ahafo Regional Directorate of the Department of Women under the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs (MOWAC).
Mr Opoku noted that the decision by the RCC and the subsequent call on the MDAs in the region to support women aspirants were part of efforts to sensitise and encourage many more women in the region to compete for public offices as a result of their low participation.
He added that the workshop was one of the efforts of the government, through the MOWAC, to sensitise women and create the enabling environment for them, not only to participate in the forthcoming assembly election, but also win.
Mr Opoku stated further that a balanced participation of both women and men in decision-making was bound to produce different shades of ideas, values and leadership styles leading to a fairer and more balanced country.
He, therefore, suggested that as a long-term measure, the necessary legislative framework should be initiated to provide quotas for and reserve seats for women as strategies for hastening women’s participation in politics and the public service.
Madam Patience Opoku, the National Director, Department of Women, in her remarks, lauded the Deputy Minister for being a gender advocate and gave the assurance that the department would come up with more capacity building programmes for women aspirants before and after the district level election.
She called for massive support for all women contesting the forthcoming elections, saying this could be further extended in the 2012 general elections to get more women elected as Parliamentarians.
She debunked the assertion that women cannot combine their traditional roles as managers of the home and that of decision-making, saying these attributes of women could be brought to bear at the decision-making and governance levels of the country, adding that women were compassionate in nature and this could also be brought to bear at those levels.
Madam Opoku also urged women, especially mothers, to share the household chores between their male and female children as a way of helping to change the perceived chauvinist nature of the Ghanaian society.
Ms Malonin Asibi, the acting Regional Director of Women and Children, stressed the importance of women’s participation in public decision making and said their increased participation at that level would ensure the sustainable development of the country.