Tamale, July 25, GNA – Women in political leadership in the three northern regions have held a debate focusing on programmes of their political parties, which seek to build inclusive governance.
All the parties, except the National Democratic Congress, were represented at the debate and they were the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Progressive Peoples Party (PPP), Peoples National Convention (PNC), Convention Peoples Party (CPP) and Democratic Peoples Party (DPP).
The debate formed part of activities to mark a two-day Regional Symposium which opened in Tamale on Tuesday with the aim to sensitize and enhance the economic and political prospects for women in the three northern regions.
The topic was; “Enhancing Political and Economic Empowerment of Women in the Three Northern Regions of Ghana; What Prospects”.
It was under the theme: “Expanding the Voice of Women in Political Leadership in Northern Ghana” and organized by Savannah Women's Empowerment Group Ghana (SWEGG) in collaboration with Foundation for Security Development in Africa (FOSDA) both non governmental organisations.
Participants at the symposium were mostly SEWGG members, some of whom are parliamentary candidates for 2012 elections whiles others are assembly members as well as past parliamentarians and assembly members.
Hajia Samata Gifty Bukari, Member of Northern Regional Disciplinary Committee of NPP, who represented the party, said the NPP had done it before and enumerated some of its programmes whiles in power.
They include the School Feeding Programme, Free Maternal Care, Youth Employment amongst others.
She assured that giving another chance, the NPP would introduce more social enhancement programmes to cater for the needs of the people especially the vulnerable groups as well as implement sound policies that would lead to accelerated development.
Madam Mariama Adam, PPP Parliamentary Aspirant for Tamale Central, spoke about the personal achievements of Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, the party's Presidential Candidate, saying; “he is a jobs creator” as he set up a number of firms that employed a lot of Ghanaians mostly the youth.
She said PPP would use its ten-point agenda, which involved free, compulsory and continuous basic education as well as support girls to higher education and to transform the country.
The CPP was, however, represented by Mr Alhassan Humeiru Daballi, its Northern Regional Education Secretary, who said the party would give equal opportunities to all members of society as evidenced in the election of a woman as its National Chairperson.
The PNC pulled out its representative mid-way into the debate for making poor arguments and she was replaced by Mr Abdallah Alhassan, its Northern Regional Organizer, who said the party's flag bearer was full of youthful exuberance and would pursue policies that would inure to the benefit of all Ghanaians.
Chief Alhassan Issahaku Amadu, Chief of Zangbalung, who was one of the traditional authorities at the event, entreated his colleagues to endorse the candidature of women in the December elections saying they were capable to deliver.
Madam Afi Yakubu, Executive Director of FOSDA, stressed the need for society to refocus its thoughts to pushing women to their deserved place in all spheres of leadership.
Madam Yakubu said the challenges confronting women could only be better championed by women representatives and called on women to vote for agenda that addressed issues such as maternal mortality and poverty.
Ms Amina Montia, Convener of SWEGG, argued that the development of northern Ghana could only be achieved if its women were actively involved in the process of leadership.