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01.12.2019 General News

RUWA Ghana Holds Forum For Women Assembly Member Candidates

By Albert Futukpor
Participants at the forum

Women Assembly Member Candidates from four districts in the Northern Region have attended a day’s sensitisation forum to build their capacity to effectively prosecute their campaigns to ensure victory during the impending District Level Elections (DLE).

The forum, held at Sagnarigu, was organised by RUWA Ghana, a non-governmental organisation, as part of its Enhancing Women's Participation in District Assembly Elections in the Northern Region, which is funded by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa.

The 18-month project, which will end in June, 2020, seeks to empower women to contest in the DLE on December 17, at Yendi, Tamale, Sagnarigu and Savelugu Assemblies to increase women's representation in decision making levels in the country.

As part of the project, 30 women in the four assemblies expressed interest to contest in the DLE but less than 20 had actually filed to contest the elections hence the forum for them to build their capacity towards the elections.

At the forum, some of the women assembly member candidates spoke about the challenges they were encountering as part of their campaigns saying some of the electorate had been demanding money amongst other gifts from them to vote for them.

Others also said they were being prevailed upon to step down and allow male candidates, who were their relatives or known political party activists, to contest the elections.

They complained that such actions could affect their chances during the polls on December 17.

Madam Salifu Nzara, Assembly Member Candidate for the Guntingli Electoral Area at Yendi Municipality, said she mobilised some gravels to fill some potholes on the roads in the area, and now people always came to her to get them gravels to fill potholes in the area.

She appealed for support to erect five big posters at vantage points in the area to project herself to the people to vote her during the polls.

Madam Abdul Rahman Humu, Assembly Member Candidate for Limanfong Electoral Area in the Savelugu Municipality, said other candidates were enticing the electorate with gifts, making the electorate to demand same from her, which she could not afford.

She also appealed for support to design posters and t-shirts to make her visible in the area to enhance her chances at the polls.

Madam Mohammed Rahinatu Yakubu, the immediate past Assembly Member for Education Ridge Electoral Area at Sagnarigu Municipality, who was a resource person during the forum, spoke about strategies for women to adopt to campaign to win the elections.

She advised the women candidates to engage opinion leaders, associations, political parties amongst other interest groups in their areas to sell their messages to them to enhance their chances at the polls.

She also advised them to desist from insults and show respect to all, guard against giving money to the electorate but rather convince them about what they stood for to win their votes.

Mr Masud Aziz Rauf, Executive Director of RUWA Ghana said the organisation was implementing a series of activities to give visibility to women with regards to the DLE.