Member of Parliament (MP) for Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency and First Deputy Majority Whip, Lydia Seyram Alhassan has called on political parties in Ghana to consider the implementation of an effective quota system that will protect women parliamentarians.
According to her, an effective quota system must create opportunities for more women to enter Parliament.
She was addressing Parliament in a statement to mark International Women’s Day 2023.
Madam Seyram Alhassan said her advocacy for a quota system is not to suggest that women should be handed parliamentary seats on a silver platter adding that, “However, in the face of the obvious challenges that crowd out women from the political space, a quota system that upholds the principles of competence and meritocracy will go a long way to increase women participation not only Parliament but the entire governance processes of the country.”
She expressed worry about Ghana’s “largely insignificant” contribution to the global proportion of women in Parliament.
She averred that, “Currently, the proportion of women in parliament in Ghana stands at around 14.5%, a figure far below the IPU set target of 30% by 2030. If we are to make progress in this regard, we must at all cost, remove barriers such as the sexist political culture and the gendered economic inequality that continue to define our politics.”
She said: “It is imperative therefore for political parties in Ghana to critically consider in designing for implementation of an effective quota system that will seek to protect women Parliamentarians while creating the opportunity for more women to become Members of Parliament. I must state Mr Speaker that my advocacy for a quota system for women in Parliament does not in any way suggest that we should be made to enter Parliament on a silver platter.”
“So, on this occasion of International Women’s Day, I urge us all to reaffirm our commitment to championing the course of women in Ghana and it is my hope that this august house will take the front seat in pushing reforms that will aim at increasing the proportion of women in Parliament and entire governance structure in our dear country,” she noted.
Also, the Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekkuful has revived the demand for political parties to reserve safe parliamentary seats for women.
According to the Ablekuma West MP, the practice of slashing filing fees for women by political parties is not enough of an affirmative action.
She was speaking to the media after a statement from the leader of the women’s caucus Lydia Seyram Alhassan on the floor in commemoration of International Women’s Day.
She argued such a policy is the only way to get more women into parliament.
By PROSPER AGBENYEGA