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07.11.2008 Elections

WiLDAF Meets Presidential Candidates

By   (ISD) Richard Quarshie / Sethline Frimpong

Women in Law and Development in African (WiLDAF), yesterday held a Women's Dialogue with Presidential candidates in Accra.

The dialogue, dubbed 'Vision of Political Parties for Women in 2008 Elections and Beyond,' sort to create a platform where Presidential candidates can put across their agenda for women in their manifestoes as well as giving the aspirants opportunity to get first hand information from women on their priorities.

Presidential Candidates of the parties invited were represented by their various running mates who made presentations on their behalf.

The Board Chairperson of WiLDAF Ghana, Dr Cherub Antwi-Nsiah, disclosed that the Women's Manifesto of 2004 provides a thorough analysis and makes demands from politicians and policy makers on issues concerning women.

She added that, the dialogue aimed at increasing participation of women in the political process, thus providing a space for women's voices to be heard and to allow political parties to outline policies they have, concerning women in their manifestoes.

The Vice Presidential Candidate for the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Mahamadu Bawumia, revealed that his party will extend the school feeding programme to all schools in all the districts as well as increase access to anti-retroviral drugs to help in reducing various ailments.

He said his party will ensure the abolition of negative cultural practices in the country, saying it will help protect women's interests in society.

The Vice Presidential Candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Mr John Mahama on his part intimated that his party was prepared to work with women's groups to ensure that the women's manifesto policies are affected.

He assured women that there would be a fourty percent increase of women in government positions when NDC is voted to power. This, he said, will help prevent corruption in the country.

Dr Edward Mahama of the People's National Convention Party, also disclosed that his party will improve women's access to credit facilities as well as bringing policies to help reduce maternal mortality rate.

According to the Vice Presidential Candidate for the Convention Peoples Party (CPP), Dr Abu Sakara, said that policies will be put in place to ensure free compulsory and continuous education for female in order to create equal opportunities for women.

He added that the CPP will ensure that fifty percent of the District Chief Executives would be women. This is to ensure gender equality in the decision making process, he stated.

Ms Patience Ameku, the Vice Presidential Candidate for the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP), said that there will be a comprehensive relook at the National Health Insurance Scheme to include other women ailments that are not included in the present scheme and also fifty percent of the cost of examination will be taken care of by the DFP.

There will be the establishment of a database to help reduce wastage of the nation's budget, she added.

The Vice Presidential Candidate for the People National Convention (PNC), Ms Petra Amegashie, also stated that when PNC comes to power, they will unify Ghanaians to enable all to have access to micro credit facilities.

She observed that people have difficulties in accessing credit facilities because the system is being politicised and therefore, her party will put new systems in place to facilitate easy access to credit.

Giving her closing remarks, the Director of the Institute of Local Government, Dr Esther Ofei-Aboagye, observed that women now know how politics affects their families and work, she, therefore, urged political parties and the public to work together to ensure that policies that affect women and Ghanaians as a whole are brought to bear for better implementation.