The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has yet again taken to the international scene the fight for equal representation of women in leadership and power. Kadaga was delivering a key note address at a public lecture in Accra, in commemoration of 25 years of a democratically elected Parliament of Ghana, Thursday 13th December, 2018.
Kadaga told a gathering of legislators and key leaders in Ghana that states can increase participation of women in leadership and power through legislation and organized state systems.
“For states to increase women participation, they are required to put into place legislative, judicial and other administrative systems,” said Kadaga
Kadaga made reference to Uganda and Rwanda’s laws that have systematically ensured an increase in women involvement in legislature. “Article 78 of the Ugandan Constitution has a provision that ensures as long as there is a district, there must be a woman representative elected through universal suffrage, it is really important that you amend your laws“
She highlighted other parliamentary seats in Uganda such as the army, youths, workers and people with disabilities which provide for female representation.
Kadaga noted that various African states have laws that recognize women representation in leadership but that effort is required to ensure implementation.
She urged the parliament of Ghana to advocate for funding of women to contest in elections as provided in the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women ,1979 (CEDAW). “You are supposed to support women funding, a lot of women actually cannot afford to contest in an election because of the associated costs,” she said
Citing Nigeria and Botswana, Kadaga decried the low representation of women in legislature saying “it is frustrating that up to now representation of women is still low, you can imagine a giant like Nigeria has 4% of women in Parliament” adding that “In Botswana there are only 3 women in Parliament, one is the speaker, they cannot have a women’s caucus”
Ghana will hold its general elections in the next two years, in a bid to ensure gender parity, the Speaker of the Parliament, Rt Hon, Aaron Michael Oquaye is spearheading consultations both locally and internationally on how to raise the number of women in Parliament which currently stands at 12%.