Thu, 14 Dec 2023 Social News

Intimidation, lack of confidence hindering women's participation in Ghana's politics — UNDP

Photo of some Ghanaian female MPsPhoto of some Ghanaian female MPs
14 DEC 2023 LISTEN

A new report from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has shed light on some of the key barriers preventing greater women's representation in Ghana's political sphere.

The report, titled "Under-representation of women in leadership in Ghana," and published in September this year, analyzes factors contributing to the persistently low numbers of women elected to political office at both national and local levels in the country.

According to the UNDP, "intimidation, lack of recognition and illiteracy were among the major obstacles" facing women seeking political office, citing a previous study examining representation in Nadowli District.

The agency also noted research finding that "lack of self-confidence, unsupportive family, and their traditional gender roles were the predominant factors that barred [women] from active politics."

These findings come amid criticism from advocacy groups in Ghana who have called on parties to do more to address challenges such as gender-based violence and a lack of resources that disproportionately affect women candidates.

While the constitution guarantees women's rights to participate, Ghana has struggled to meet even modest global benchmarks.

Currently, only around 14-15% of parliamentary seats are held by women, according to the UNDP

At the local level, they noted the situation is even worse with declines in the number of women elected in recent cycles.

UNDP emphasized that "overcoming intimidation and boosting women's confidence in their leadership abilities will be key to making progress."

Amplifying this call, Abigail Larbi, Programme Manager at the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) in an article shared with this portal, urged all stakeholders, including political parties and the media, to work collaboratively to address the structural barriers.

Isaac Donkor Distinguished
Isaac Donkor Distinguished

News ReporterPage: IsaacDonkorDistinguished