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16 June 2012 | Politics

NGO applauds government effort to appoint more women to assemblies

NGO applauds government effort to appoint more women to assemblies

Wa, June 16, GNA – ActionAid Ghana, a non-governmental organization (NGO), has applauded Government's directive that 40 percent of women should be appointed to the membership of the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).

Madam Esther Boateng, Upper West Regional Manager of the NGO, however, suggested to Government to back the directive with action by sanctioning non-conforming MMDAs.

The Regional Manager, who was addressing participants at the launch of the Upper West Regional Assembly women Caucus in Wa on Friday, called on the authorities to ensure that more women participated in decision-making and local governance.

Madam Boateng observed that a shift in power in favour of women was critical to overcome the discrimination and marginalization of women in both public and private sectors.

She advised the Regional Assemblywomen Caucus to be proactive, and build good relationship with the various Municipal and District Assemblies in the region, to improve upon the lot of women and children.

Alhaji Amidu Sulemana, Upper West Regional Minister, suggested that membership of the assembly be extended to include both current and past Assembly women, since the latter might be endowed with rich experience to share.

He appealed to the Caucus to undertake activities that would create awareness among women in the region, to boost their confidence to vie for political positions.

Alhaji Sulemana expressed worry that only one woman in the region managed to scale the odds to become a parliamentary aspirant in the impending General Election, and called on members of the Assembly women caucus to work hard to change the situation.

Madam Florence Hayen, who spoke on behalf of the Assemblywomen Caucus, thanked ActionAid Ghana for the support.

She noted that currently women constituted only 13.7 per cent in local governance in the region and said the caucus would serve as a mouth piece, to empower women and girls to aspire to higher positions of decision-making.

Madam Hayen said the caucus would ensure that Government integrated gender perspectives in legislations, policies, programmes and projects, and protect the rights of women and children.

She said additionally, the caucus would coordinate and project district and regional activities of women and encourage them to achieve higher standards.