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02.11.2008 Regional News

Government urged to establish women’s Leadership Institute in the North

By gna

Government and Stakeholders have been urged to establish a Leadership Training Institute for women in the three Northern Regions.

The Northern Women Politicians made the appeal on Tuesday when they attended a capacity building workshop organized by the Women's Manifesto Coalition and Abantu for Development working in the area for the promotion of gender equality.

The Workshop on the theme "Strengthening the Capacity of Women Parliamentary Candidates for Election 2008" was sponsored by Canadian Development Agency (CIDA) and facilitated by the Centre for Sustainable Development Initiatives (CENSUDI) at Pusu-Namongo in the Talensi-Nabdam District of the Upper East Region.

It was to equip women politicians with leadership skills and campaign strategies to help them campaign effectively.

The Northern Women Politicians stated that the Northern Woman was ‘an endangered species’ and that when given the necessary training would be empowered.

The women explained that one of the effective strategies for Government and other stakeholders to help address the poverty situation in the north and bridge the north-south development gap was through the establishment of a Women's Leadership Training Institutes.

Mrs. Paulina Abayage, Upper East Regional Director of the Department of Women in a Paper on the topic "the Importance of Women in Decision Making and Politics" stressed the need for women to be given more training and noted that majority of men in many of the ministries were given the chance and sponsored to upgrade themselves in higher institutions at the expense of the women.

She explained that no country could develop properly without the fullest participation of women and urged Government and other stakeholders to give equal opportunity to women to enable them to upgrade themselves and contribute to development.

Mrs Franciska Issaka, Executive Director of CENSUDI explained that democracy was about power sharing and does not discriminate, yet majority of men were wielding more power than their female counterparts who formed the majority of the population.

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

Mr Mike Fuoh, Upper East Regional Deputy Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) who presented a paper on the topic "Democracy, Citizenship and Election", urged political parties and the electorate to exercise restraint and not to do anything to mar the forthcoming election.

He said violence during the election could mar the good reputation the country had gained at the international level.

He explained that one of the essential components of democracy was tolerance, compromise and cooperation.

He urged the female parliamentary candidates to be resolute and bold in their campaigns, and not to allow anybody to discourage them.

Participants at the workshop, who comprised about 40 female parliamentary candidates and campaign teams from the Upper East and Upper West Regions, were drawn from the New Patriotic Party, National Democratic Congress, People's National Convention (PNC), Convention People's Party (CPP) and the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP.

They were taken through topics including "Lobbying and Advocacy Skills", "Communication and Presentation Skills", "Campaign Strategies", "Women's Manifesto for Ghana", "the Importance of Women in Decision making and Politics" and "Democracy, Citizenship and Election".