Minister calls for quota system to improve women’s inclusion

Koforidua, The Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Ms Freda Prempeh has called for the enactment of laws to promote the quota system to increase women’s participation in the decision making process of the country.

She called for the amendment of the political party law to ensure that all political parties reserved a percentage of their parliamentary candidates for women.

Ms Prempeh also called for a legislation for a quota of the parliamentary seats in the country to be reserved for women by law to help increase women’s participation in policy and law making process.

Ms Prempeh was speaking at this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) at Koforidua.

The programme was organized by Solidaridad West Africa in collaboration with ABANTU for Development, Mondelez International’s Cocoa Life Ghana Programme, the Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation, and some development partners.

Ms Prempeh said Ghana was one of the first countries in the world to introduce quota for women representation in parliament in 1960 but the system was not sustained even though women form majority of the population of the country, they constitute only 13 percent of the members of parliament.

She said women representation in the Ghanaian parliament had often been low and noted that the highest percentage was recorded in 1965 when 18 per cent of the parliamentarians were women.

She said apart from that year, women representation in parliament had been below 11 per cent until it recently increased to 13 per cent in the current parliament.

Ms Stephanie Donu, head of gender and quality management of Solidaridad West Africa called for collective efforts to ensure that all groups of people irrespective of their gender, have access to equal rights, opportunities and privileges in society.

She said last year, the day was celebrated in Dunkwa on Offin and was attended by 150 women in the cocoa industry.

Ms Donu said this year, the participation in the community durbar to mark the day had been expanded to include women groups in sustainable oil palm production and sustainable gold mining from Eastern Region and other regions.

Ms Rose Mensah Kutin, Executive Director of ABANTU for Development said this year’s celebration of the IWD marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijin Women Conference and though much had been achieved in women emancipation, more need to be done.

She said the emancipation of women also include the efforts of men in creating the enabling environment for women to realise their rights.

Ms Kutin said the celebration of IWD also marks the celebration of the contribution of women to national development.

Ms Yaa Peprah Amekudzi of Cocoa Life Programme in Ghana, Mondelez International said the right that women are fighting for would also benefit men and people with disabilities and called for an end to discrimination against people with disability.

As part of the celebration, a health screening exercise for breast cancer, high blood pressure and diabetes was organised.

Source: Ghana News Agency