Can political parties move from rhetoric to action in women’s political representation?
By Esther Tawiah,
After the Beijing conference, one of the actions recommended to state parties to increase women political participation was through appointments, this they believed would address the historical deficit of women’s leadership in both political and public spaces. Article 9 of the Maputo protocol states that, “State parties shall take specific positive action to promote inclusive governance and the equal participation of women in the political life of their countries through affirmative action, enabling national legislation and other measures to ensure that: Women are represented equally at all levels with men in all electoral processes.” 2. “State Parties shall ensure increased and effective representation and participation of women at all levels of decision-making.”
During the Universal Declaration on Democracy in September 1997, the Parliaments of the world represented in the Inter-Parliamentary Union stated that one of the founding principles of democracy should be a genuine partnership between men and women in the conduct of the affairs of society in which they work in equality and complimentarity, drawing mutual enrichment from their differences. The actions were agreed to by state governments, interestingly state governments are created out of democratic institutions such as political parties. Political parties are very strategic partners as they present candidates to the electoral commission to conduct elections and form government.
The Convention Peoples Party (CPP) and the first president of Ghana, long before the Beijing conference, in the 1960s had an affirmative action, where one woman from each region was appointed to parliament. So we had 10 women members of parliament in his era until the coup d’états that disrupted our young democracy after colonial rule. Ghana returned to democratic rule in 1992 under the 4th republic, since then we have had stability for the past 25 years.
Click here to read the full article published by World Youth Movement for Democracy on 13 November 2018.