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24.04.2006 General News

Culture: A major challenge to women's political aspirations

By GNA

adam Hawa Yakubu, National Vice Chairperson of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has said aspects of the national culture continued to be a major challenge hindering women's participation in politics.

She said if these were addressed, many more women would be willing to join and make meaningful contributions towards the growth of democracy in Ghana.

Madam Yakubu said these at a forum organised by the Takoradi Polytechnic branch of the Tertiary Education Students Confederacy of the NPP (TESCON) in Takoradi on Saturday.

It was on the theme "Women in Leadership and Decision-making, a Tool for National Development". She said women, who aspired to become politicians should be prepared for the challenges associated with it.

Madam Yakubu said, for more women to succeed in politics, they must be humble and respectful to their family and be willing to serve in any capacity within their political party hierarchy. She expressed the need for graduates of the various institutions of higher learning to acquire more practical skills to enable them to set up their own businesses.

Madam Yakubu advised them to use their money wisely and avoid vices like the use of drugs, alcoholism and occultism, since such habits could ruin their lives.

She advised them to take up the political struggle and work for gender equality.

In a speech read for her, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, Deputy Minister of Information advised the students to sacrifice and serve as volunteers in order to acquire some skills, adding that, "You must have belief in yourselves that, you are capable of transforming your communities for the better. She advised the students to learn from others, irrespective of their political persuasions and adopt the positive values in them.

Ms Botchway said to be a good leader; every individual must be time conscious and polite to their colleagues and be prepared to accept criticisms. The government, she said, would do everything possible to strengthen the various women's groups to enable them groom more women to take up leadership positions.

The Deputy Minister said, though a women's development fund had been established, there was the need to assist them to move from micro-level operations to large, medium and small-scale industries. She said to break the jinx of culture in relation to politics; young women should develop a new sense of consciousness, vision, awareness, and self-control and to avoid unproductive social activities. Ms Botchway advised women to be assertive and well informed to enable them to compete effectively with their male counterparts. She reminded them that an undisciplined individual would not be entrusted with any leadership position.

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