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29.10.2008 Politics

Female parliamentary candidates urged to tackle the needs of women

By gna

Female parliamentary candidates have been urged to focus their electioneering campaigns on issues that reflected the needs of women in their constituencies.

Mr Bright Asare Boadi, Assistant Programme Manager of the Centre for Development of People (CEDEP), a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), gave the advice at a two-day workshop at Fiapre, near Sunyani.

The workshop, on the theme: “Strengthening the Capacity of Women Parliamentary Candidates for Election 2008,” was organised by CEDEP and the Coalition of Women Manifesto, also an NGO.

Forty-five participants made up of 10 Assembly members and 35 parliamentary candidates of the New Patriotic Party, National Democratic Congress, People's National Convention and Convention Peoples' Party in Brong-Ahafo attended.

Mr Boadi explained that women formed majority of the country's population but had been “relegated to the background” for a long time on issues of national interest.

He said it was important for the candidates to identify and package their campaign messages to help alleviate the plight of women to win their votes.

“Women and children are the casualties of post violence elections,” Mr Boadi said and cautioned the aspirants to conduct their campaigns devoid of insults.

He said there was the need to enhance the knowledge base of women parliamentary aspirants in addressing critical national issues to enable them to contribute meaningfully to national development.

The participants were taken through topics including Communication Skills, Democracy, Citizenship and Election, Women Politics and Decision Making, Media Relations, Developing Campaign Messages and Advocacy Skills.