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Reserve 30% local gov’t appointment for women – Prof. Oquaye

The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Michael Oquaye, has called for more efforts on affirmative action to maximize the political influence of women in the country.

He advocates that political parties reserve quotas for women in their strong areas.

Opening the 2019 edition of the annual New Year School and Conference at the University of Ghana on Monday, the Speaker of Parliament also urged government to reserve 30% of its appointments into local assemblies for women.

“Political parties must also have quotas for women in this regard, and as for the district assemblies, the one-third of member reserved for the president at any given time, will now be reserved for women only,” he said.

Ghana’s Parliament is still far off from the 30 percent mark set by the United Nations for women representation.

Ghana has made some marginal progress in recent times, with the 2016 election increasing the number of elected women from 30, representing 10.9 percent, in 2012, to 37, representing 13.5 percent.

In 2000, the representation of women in parliament was 9.5 percent, 10.8 percent in 2004 and 9.3 percent in 2006.

As of June 2017, only two countries had been noted to have 50 percent or more women in parliament in single or lower houses: Rwanda with 61.3 per cent, and Bolivia with 53.1 percent.

Last year December, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, advocated for the number of seats in Ghana’s parliament to be increased from 275 to 300, with a reserved number of 25 seats for women.

According to him, the extra 25 seats should reflect the size and strength of the political parties in Parliament, and will help encourage women empowerment in the country.

Women’s rights organization, Women in Law and Development in Africa (WILDAF), welcomed the call by Minority leader, Haruna Iddrissu for an additional 25 parliamentary seats to be reserved solely for women.

Currently, there are 37 women MPs in Ghana’s parliament.

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