Freda Prempeh, Member of Parliament (MP) for Tano North Constituency in the Brong Ahafo region has noted with worry that culture is still an obstacle hindering many qualified women to go into politics.
Ms Prempeh is one of the two female parliamentarians out of the twenty-nine MPs from her region.
Ms Prempeh said the situation is not encouraging women who are capable to go into politics even at the local level elections to represent the various electoral areas at the Metropolitan Municipal District Assemblies (MMDAs).
“The Ghanaian culture is a against women right from birth because when a woman gives birth to a baby boy she is said to have given birth to a human being but if she gives birth to a girl, the baby is tagged as a thing. Most Ghanaian women who are well qualified do not go into politics because she will not be voted for because they are seen as second fiddle to men in the society,” she disclosed.
She told XYZ News in an interview that apart from culture, which is hindering women from going into politics, Madam Prempeh also noted that economic power is also affecting most women from going into politics because they are not financially sound to compete with men.
Ms Prempeh also noted that there are some negative socio-cultural practices and beliefs, which constitute barriers that militate against women aspiring to enter into politics.
The patriarchal nature of Ghanaian societies she said relegates women into the background of community life especially in the Brong Ahafo Region.
Although women constitute about 52 per cent of the population of Ghana, research had revealed that, they were under-represented in governance, decision-making positions and other significant areas of the economy in Ghana.
Out of the 275 seats in parliament, only 29 are women with the rest being men.
Madam Sheila Minka Premo, a Lawyer and Gender Advocate said, “Discrimination against women in society especially at the office, which demoralized women, lowered their self-esteem and made them reluctant to aspire for leadership positions in politics adding that it was unfortunate that women who aspired for positions were given names.
“The nature of party politics in Ghana is too rough for a woman brought up to be respectful and gentle, to actively participate. Education on gender issues must be organized for men, women, youth, opinion leaders, and religious authorities.
“Women do not fully participate in the formulation of government policies because there are few women in decision-making positions and in government, to make any real impact. This situation is not good for the development of our nation, therefore, there is the need to find strategies to increase their numbers in party politics,” she added.
Ms Kathleen Addy, Outreach Coordinator for the Centre for Democratic Development (C.D.D.), said current and past governments, had not delivered on their promise to appoint 40 per cent of women in governance, adding that women should not be contended with the position of Women’s Organizer in the various political parties in the country.