Kumasi, Jan. 24, GNA - Ibis Ghana, an NGO supported six aspiring women parliamentarians in the Ashanti region with an amount of one million cedis each to assist them in their campaigns in the last December elections.
Mr John Kwadwo Owusu, chairman of the Ashanti Region Network of NGOs (ASHANGO), disclosed this at the post-election evaluation workshop on political tolerance, peace building and affirmative action on women in politics, organised by ASHANGO in Kumasi at the weekend.
The workshop, attended by over 60 participants including representatives of political parties, the media and traditional rulers, aimed at evaluating the 2004 electoral process, its outcomes, successes, challenges and the way forward.
He said the series of workshops organised by ASHANGO with the aid of Ibis Ghana for aspiring women parliamentarians prior to the elections enabled them to interact with the electorates and present their manifestoes.
Mr Owusu also said the participation of the various stakeholders in discussions helped to achieve peace, free and fair elections, good governance as well as the promotion of gender equity to enhance sustainable development.
"Let us forget about our differences that retard progress and focus on positive development", the chairman added.
Miss Aba Oppong, Officer in-charge of Sexual Reproductive Programmes of the Centre for the Development of People (CEDEP) in Kumasi, noted that the representative of women in parliament increased from 19 to 25 in the December 7 polls.
She described it as an improvement in the political history of the country.
Miss Oppong therefore, appealed to women parliamentarians to form parliamentary women caucus to champion the cause of women and also ensure the smooth passage of the Domestic Violence Bill. Mr Lawrence Sarpong, second Deputy Ashanti Regional Director of the Electoral Commission (EC), described the massive voter turn out in the last December elections as significant in the political history of Ghana.
Mr Kusi Abora, Ashanti Regional Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), who presided, appealed to the government to provide the Commission with adequate resources to enable it educate the electorate on issues of national development.