The low participation and representation of women in national politics is due to the country's political system which is mainly structured around inequalities in gender relations, Nana Oye Lithur, an Accra-based legal practitioner has observed.
Nana Lithur, who is also the Co-ordinator of the Africa Office of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, was peaking on “Gender economic and political power” on the third day of the 45th Founder's Week celebration of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences in Accra.
She blamed the various Political Parties for contributing in no small way to perpetuate the “status quo” which had kept women relegated to the background in the nation's body-politic.
She reviewed the manifestos of the CPP, NPP, NDC and concluded that none of them offered much help to women. She suggested that laws be enacted to favour women in addition to affirmative action.
The President of the Academy, Nana Dr. S.K.B. Asante, wondered if it was not the lack of willingness on the part of women themselves to participate actively in politics.
The Chairman of the National Commission on Culture, Prof. George Hagan, said despite the hindrances women encountered, they contributed so much to society.
e said, “the power of every man rests with five women and these are the mother, wife, sister, daughter and mother in-law.”
The Chairperson for the occasion, Prof. Marian Ewurama Addy, also observed that the motto of the Volta Hall, the only female hall of the University of Ghana, was in itself defeatist as it acknowledged the indispensability of the cock to the hen.
The motto, which is in Akan, translates as “although the hen knows the break of dawn, it still allows the cock to announce it.”
“We ourselves have to change the perception at a much faster rate than we are seeing now,” said Prof. Addy.