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30.10.2008 Regional News

'Establish women's leadership training institute for the North'


Government has been urged to establish a women's leadership training institute for the Upper West, Upper East and Northern regions.

This could be an effective way for government and other stakeholders to help curb poverty in the North and bridge the north-south development gap.

The call was made by women politicians, including parliamentary candidates of various political parties contesting Election 2008, from the three Northern Regions, at a capacity building workshop, at Pusu-Namongo in the Talensi-Nabdam District of the Upper East Region.

Participants noted that the establishment of the institute could help empower women in the north to enable them to effectively contribute to national development.

Mrs. Paulina Abayage, Upper East Regional Director of the Department of Women, presenting a paper on the topic; "the Importance of Women in Decision Making and Politics", alleged that majority of men in many of Government Ministries and Departments, were given the chance to upgrade their knowledge and skills in higher educational institutions at the expense of women.

He called on the authorities to give women the same opportunity as men to develop their potentials, adding that no country could progress without their full participation in development.

Mrs. Franciska Issaka, Executive Director of CENSUDI, noted that democracy was about power sharing, yet men were wielding power more than their female counterparts, who constituted majority of the country's population.

"Women also have the right to power. They should be given equal opportunity to develop and to exercise their rights to bring about accelerated development," she said.

Mr. Mike Fuoh, Upper East Regional Deputy Director of National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), presenting a paper on the topic: "Democracy, Citizenship and Election”, urged politicians and their supporters to ensure peaceful elections on December 7.

He urged the female parliamentary candidates to intensify their electioneering to enable them to win more seats in the next Parliament.

The event was organized by Women's Manifesto Coalition and Abantu for Development, working in the three Northern Regions, to promote gender equality, under the theme: "Strengthening the Capacity of Women Parliamentary Candidates for Election 2008".

Other topics discussed at the event were "Lobbying and Advocacy Skills", "Communication and Presentation Skills", "Campaign Strategies", and "Women's Manifesto for Ghana".

The event, sponsored by Canadian Development Agency (CIDA) and facilitated by the Centre for Sustainable Development Initiatives (CENSUDI), was to equip women politicians with leadership skills and electioneering strategies to help them campaign effectively.