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Veteran journalist worry over continues marginalization of women in leadership positions in the northern region


Statistics  indicates that, only 122 women were elected assembly members nationwide  in 1994 against 4,082 males while in 1998 only 196 women were elected against 4,624 males. 341 women were elected against 4,241 males in 2000 with 2006 recording 433 elected women against 4,301 males in spite of women numerical strength in Ghana.

In the northern region out of 137 female contested the district assembly elections, only 19 of them were voted. Only one woman was elected in the Tamale metropolitan assembly to 46 males in 2010 district assembly elections.

A Veteran journalist and the General Manager of Zaa Radio in the northern region, Alhassan Imoru who disclosed this at a day media training  workshop for journalist in Tamale said, the situation is not desirable considering the major role women play in the development of the country. 

He said the continue exclusion and marginalization of women who are the majority of the Ghana’s population from decision-making does not create a strong and healthy democracy.

He blames the situation on public vilification of political leadership, difficulties in funding campaigns, lack of mentorship programs for young potential girls to prepare for leadership positions and women roles as housewives and providers for the families.

According to Mr. Alhassan the situation of women in the northern region calls for a positive change for women in the political, economic and socio-cultural sectors of Ghana’s economic. 

The over 50 years experience journalist underscore important role the media play in changing negative mindset of people and urged practitioners to intensify their efforts in awareness creation to revise the trend. 

With barely two years for Ghana to meet   the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), some men in the northern region say it is impossible to achieve many of the goals without women being in leadership positions.

According to them, no amount of effort can make a difference in Ghana’s commitment towards achieving the MDGs before 2015 if women are not occupied in high positions in government and in their various political parties beyond women organizership.

The men argued that, women are better managers in both finance and home hence the need for everyone to support women in leadership positions. NGOs such as the Ghana Developing Communities Association (GDCA) have been organizing what they term as political interaction forums for various political parties in six districts in the northern region.

Participants at these forums now want for more support in both financial and physical encouragement to enable them contest highest political leadership positions.  Some of them also called on NGOs and gender activists to narrow their advocacy at all levels especially, at the basic and second cycle educational institutions.

The forum which brought together all political parties executives in Yendi was to create an interface for political parties themselves to make conscious efforts encouraging women to assume leadership positions.

The project facilitator of the Supporting Women to Participate in Elections (SWOPE) a European Union support programme, Alhassan Faidatu said women defeat in the 2010 district assembly elections still remain a bane to most development workers in the north hence, the need to strategies to improve in the subsequent elections.  

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