Women have been exhorted to seize opportunities available to them to expand their influence and involvement in public life.
Madam Modesta Annie Sapaty, Volta Regional Deputy Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) gave the exhortation at a one-day review meeting organized by the Volta Regional Directorate of the Department for Women for a cross-section of women in public life and decision making in the Volta region in Ho.
Madam Sapaty said there is a preponderance of constitutional provisions, laws and conventions both local and international seeking to shore up women many of whom seemed to lack that extra will to seize their prize."When the opportunities are offered we fail to capture them."
She was speaking on "Prospects and challenges faced by women in decision-making positions in Ghana." Madam Sapaty said the challenges that must be tackled include the lack of awareness on constitutional provisions and other legal instruments by majority of women, ignorance and illiteracy, inability to seize opportunities and the lack of knowledge, skills and capacity.
Others were the lack of interest, acceptance of the status quo, vulnerability, the lack of confidence and "our scale of preference."
Madam Lena Alai, Volta Regional Director of the Department of Women, said the reduction of women parliamentarians from 25 in the last Parliament to 20 in the current Parliament constituted a challenge to all political parties to make deliberate efforts to have at least five women from each region on their tickets in all subsequent parliaments.
She observed that from two female District Chief Executives (DCEs) in the region in 2004, there was currently not a single woman DCE in the region.
The participants at the forum decided that women, who form 51 per cent of Ghana's population, should be educated to cast aside their partisan cloaks and vote for women parliamentary and District Assembly candidates in their respective constituencies and electoral areas.
They also said as many women as possible should be encouraged to stand as candidates to elective bodies, not necessarily to be first time winners, but to exhibit themselves for subsequent elections.
They further called for capacity building to enable women to perform well in positions of responsibility.
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