Low representation of women in parliament disturbing - Speaker

Citing a publication by the Inter-Parliamentary Union on gender empowerment in African parliaments, the Speaker of Parliament noted that "our democratic development is not impressive at all in this regard."

The new Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, has bemoaned the low representation of women in parliament, calling for an affirmative action law to ensure gender equality.

"A very disturbing aspect of Ghana’s Parliamentary democracy is the abysmal low representation of women in Parliament," he said.

"There is a compelling need for a comprehensive study of the factors which militate against the effective representation of women in Parliament. An Affirmative Action law could be the only way of using the law as an instrument of social engineering and mischief correction to ensure equality," he added.


He said: "Hon. Members, our democratic development is not impressive at all in this regard. The Inter-Parliamentary Union in their latest publication on 1 December 2016 classified nations in a descending order by the percentage of women representation in Parliament. Out of 193 nations Ghana was number 150. Very sad. Rwanda, was first, Bolivia, second, Cuba, third, Iceland, fourth, Nicaragua, fifth, Sweden, sixth. U.K, Germany, Switzerland were all listed.

"Algeria, Tunisia, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Lesotho, Morocco, Zambia, Liberia all beat us to it. I have added the Report as an Appendix to my speech to show all Members how deeply I feel about this tragedy. The methodology to ensure equality is available. This Parliament must do it for Ghana.

"In the previous Parliament we had 30 women MPs. Today we have 35 women MPs-elect. But there is really no cause for rejoicing. We are far behind the world. The women who are in Parliament should be assisted to become effective role models in qualitative governance. I have some ideas I will share with leadership on both sides very soon to promote a programme."


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