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17.02.2005 General News

Women call for more representation in public office

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Accra, Feb. 17, GNA - The Women Caucus of National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG) on Thursday demanded a drastic increase in the number of women in the administration of the country by appointing at least 40 per cent of the District Chief Executives from the women population.

The caucus also urged the government to appoint about 50 per cent of women as Deputy Ministers.

Mrs. Edna Jane Nyame, President of the Caucus, who was addressing a press conference organized in Accra to make a case for greater participation of women in public office, said relative absence of women from government at all levels and in various arms was regrettable for various reasons.

She noted that out of the 110 district assemblies, only six districts had women as the District Chief Executives and few women headed the 11 decentralized departments.

"Few departments where women can be found are education, social welfare and community development, which are traditionally considered best for women," she said and stressed the need to appoint competent women to the positions of district co-ordinating directors, planning, budget and finance officers.

Mr. Nyame said the inclusion of competent women allows for optimal use of a country's human resources and since women constituted half of national population, it would be fair to involve them in public decision-making.

"Women in leadership positions at the local level can make tremendous impact on the district assemblies as well as women's development concerns. Unfortunately women's participation at this level has been woefully inadequate."

Ms. Beatrice Bernice Boateng, Greater Accra Regional Manager of Presbyterian Education Unit, said the appointment of women to serve in the various political and non-political offices is a Constitutional right, which should not be frowned upon by any Constitutional government.

"We therefore believe that the Constitution of the land should serve as a basis for all our actions and inactions in both Government and outside of government."

Ms. Esther Ofei Aboagye, Director of Institute of Local Government Studies, said the purpose of decentralization was to enable everybody to demand participation in things affecting their lives and stressed the need to make use of women in local government administration. 17 Feb. 05

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