Wa, June 8, GNA – Madam Abiba Nibaradun, the Executive Director of the Centre for the Promotion of Democratic Governance (CENPRODEG) has stated that women would not tolerate politicians who would distribute magi, salt and “keta boys” as bait to capture their votes in this year's elections.
She said women were now conscious and committed to fighting for their rights and would therefore engage politicians who wanted their votes on issues and not the usual magi and salt given to them by politicians in exchange for their votes.
Madam Abiba stated this during the launch of the Upper West Region Women Manifesto for Election 2012 in Wa on Thursday.
The launching of the manifesto was under the theme: “Empowering Women, Creating Equal Opportunities and Inspiring Futures”.
It is under a project dubbed “Promoting Elections Accountability and Civic Engagement (PEACE); an initiative of CENPRODEG and STAR-Ghana.
The goal is to deepen women participation in the democratic process and contribute to a non-violent, free, fair and credible 2012 Presidential and Parliamentary elections in the region and in Ghana at large.
Madam Abiba noted that despite several efforts to ensure adequate representation of women at all levels of governance; women were still underrepresented particularly in positions of power and leadership.
She added her voice to the call for “Affirmative Action” to address the situation and said women constituted 51.2% of the country's population and certainly deserved fair representation in the governance process.
Alhaji Amidu Sulemana, Upper West Regional Minister, commended CENPRODEG and its partner STAR-Ghana for putting together the manifesto to fight the cause of women under-representation in leadership positions.
He appealed to the two organisations to make the manifesto available to the public for them to study it and give suggestions in order to make it a strong and powerful document that could set the agenda for issue based electioneering campaigns in the region and the country as a whole.
The Regional Minister said if the 2010 Population and Housing Census figures which put women ahead of men in the country was anything to go by, then it was unacceptable to have only 19 women in the 230-member parliament.
Alhaji Sulemana urged women themselves to accept the challenge of low representation in decision making and work towards building and bracing themselves individually and collectively to confront the challenges.
The 23 page manifesto covered areas such as increased access to micro-finance, environmental interventions to halt desertification, increased access to agricultural inputs, improved supply of drugs, improved education service delivery, increased recognition and participation of women in politics and the eradication of negative socio-cultural practices against women.