Parliamentarians from Ghana, and some leadership of civil Society have met in Accra to discuss the benefits women bring into Political Leadership.
The two-day conference discussed Women’s Political Careers, their tracks to Leadership, types of policies and investments that lead to more inclusive Society and political systems.
Successful stories of women in political parties, parliaments and elections were told to illustrate the point on the need for society to support women make careers out of politics.
The conference was hosted by the parliament of Ghana and co-organised with support from Commonwealth Partnership for Democracy (CP4D) which is funded by the UK’s Government for the support of democratic practise that ensures women, the youth, persons with disabilities and other under-represented groups are involved in governmental decision-making.
The CP4D is implemented by the UK’s Democracy support agency, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD), in partnership with other organisations including the Commonwealth Parliamentary Associations Headquarters and the UK branch Commonwealth Local Government forum.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Glitch, a not-for-profit organization working to end online Abuse, Seyi Akimwomo revealed in a presentation that “Women globally are 27 times more likely to be harassed online than men and research has shown this is even worse for black women in politics. This is a great threat to gender equality democratic engagement and democracies around the world.
This is why I’m both honoured and excited to be in Ghana with WESTMINSTER Foundation for Democracy co-creating a safe space for women across to develop their leadership skills and share key tools that has helped with political Careers in the UK.”
The WESTMINSTER Foundation for Democracy’s senior advisor for Gender Inclusion and Politics, Shannon O’Connell, noted that “Ghana has extra-ordinary woman Leaders at all levels of society. They may not all have tittles that offer them formal authority but women in civil society, community organisation, local Leadership, education, business and many other fields are strong and capable leaders.”
She said “I look forward to supporting these women and other equality activists from Ghana and throughout the Commonwealth who are working and representative’s decision-making process.
Research proves that women in political Leadership roles brings out better results for women, girls and society as a whole, and birth growth in policy areas vital for economic growth and developments such as health, education and infrastructure.”
Even without these quantifiable dividends, the argument for women empowerment is undeniable. Democracy cannot exist if half of population is not wholly engaged equally in decision-making. Among these are the reasons CP4D is supporting efforts toward greater gender equality in politics across the Commonwealth.
The outcome of the conference is expected to feed into WFD and the University of Birmingham’s research on women in Africa Parliaments; Seeking Impacts Against the Odds which seeks to improve understanding of how woman Legislators are able to influence policy outcomes in their roles on Parliamentary Committees.