Accra, July 19, GNA - Aspiring women parliamentarians have been asked to broaden their outlook to meet the challenges of the political arena, which does not encourage their broad participation. Mrs Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, an International Development Consultant and a former Lecturer at the University of Ghana, Legon, who made the suggestion called for the removal of barriers that impeded women's political development.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Sunday, Mrs Osei-Opare identified financial constraints, marital responsibilities and the traditional barriers as some of the hindrances. The Former Lecturer is challenging Mr George Isaac Amoo, the incumbent New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for the Ayawaso West Wougon Constituency ticket of the Party.
Mrs Osei-Opare advised aspiring women parliamentarians to engage intelligent and honest Polling Agents, who would be capable of monitoring the elections and the counting of votes.
She also urged women not to allow their political lineage prevent them from participating in programmes meant to enhance their standard of living and the development of the nation.
"We need improvement in our lifestyles and political differences should not be a barrier to our social advancement."
She advised women to form political, health, religious and other notable professional pressure groups to serve as advocacy groups to lobby and where necessary, force government and political parties to listen to them.
The aspiring MP asked women to use their demographic and democratic power to chart the political direction of the country. Mrs Osei-Opare said the NPP government had given Ghanaian women a new image and appealed to them to renew its mandate at Election 2004. She also advised parents to lay a solid foundation for the development of their children who were their most valuable assets. "Investment in their education would enable them to acquire the requisite qualifications and skills that could make them productive and not liabilities to the nation.
Mrs Osei-Opare said parents should also be concerned about the moral upbringing of their children to give them a good grounding to face the challenges of adult life.
She asked parents to co-operate with teachers, using the medium of the Parent/Teacher Associations to bring up the children both morally and academically.
The Aspiring NPP MP commended the women parliamentarians for their courage in contributing to the development of democracy in the country in spite of societal inhibitions, which expected women to be "meek and gentle and not to go after power".