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18.01.2005 General News

MPs call for meaningful support for women

By GNA

Accra, Jan. 18, GNA - Women Parliamentarians on Tuesday urged the donor community to offer support directly to women contesting political positions instead of channelling resources through non-governmental organisations.

They said when resources meant to assists women contestants were channelled through NGOs the bulk were used by the organisations for administrative expenses.

The MPs were contributing to a statement by Mrs Eugenia Kusi, NPP-Tarkwa Nsuame, at a sitting of parliament on women in politics. She said there were only 25 MPs, which did not augur well for a country that had embarked on democratic governance.

Contributing to the statement, Mrs Gladys Asmah, NPP-Tarkoradi, said donor funds to help women vying for political positions during general elections did not get to them when they desperately needed the resources to embark on campaign.

She said this situation contributed to the poor showing of women and their low representation in Parliament.

Mrs Juliana Azumah, NDC-Ho East, said governments engaged only in rhetoric but lacked the political will with the appointment of only few women as Ministers.

She said it was not a good sign for the government to appoint only three women as Ministers out 35 nominees so far. Ms Theresa Tagoe, NPP-Ablekuma South, drew angry outbursts from her male colleagues on both sides when she lashed out at men, saying, they were lazy.

Quoting extensively from the Bible, Ms Tagoe said while God was creating the woman, Adam, being so lazy, just slept throughout. Her assertion, kept the Speaker, Mr Ebenezer Sekyi Hughes, busy as he had to contend with the many calls for point of order from the male MPs, who said she was misleading the House. According to Ms Tagoe, women were more hard working and made effective leaders and should therefore be empowered to play meaningful roles.

Alhaji Pelpuo Abdul-Rashid, NDC-Wa Central, said it was pointless for women to call for assistance if they did not take their own destinies into their hands by initiating a framework upon, which assistance could be extended to them.

Dr Paa Kwesi Ndoum, CPP-Komenda/edina/Eguafo/Abrem, urged the leadership of Parliament to take up the challenge of empowering women by placing them on all important committees and delegations of the house. Nii Amasah Namoale, NDC-Dade Kotopon, said women should also focus their fight for political power by fighting for positions as heads of public institutions.

Mrs Grace Coleman, NPP-Effiduase-Asokore, said women in the last Parliament could not work effectively because they could not form a caucus because they had lot of problems.

She said this Parliament had seen an improvement and pointed out that they were now ready for business.

She said that it did not make sense for women who formed about 52 per cent of the population to remain outside the corridors of power. 18 Jan 05

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