Parliament incomplete without matching numbers for women – MPs

 Members of Parliament (MPs) from Ketu South, Ho West and Keta Constituencies in the Volta Region have observed that the 40 females out of a total of 275 MPs makes Parliament incomplete.

They noted that even though such under-representation was not unique to the country, it persisted in the sub-region where out of the 115 representatives from 15 countries in the current Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) Parliament females were only 20.

The MPs were Dzifa Gomashie, Emmanuel Bedzrah and Kwame Gakpey, MPs for Ketu South, Ho West and Keta Constituencies respectively.

They made the observation at a Gender Advocacy to Parliament (GAP) townhall meeting at Aflao in Ketu South Municipality of the Volta Region organised by Parlia­mentary Network Africa (PNAf­rica), a civil society parliamentary monitoring organisation working across Africa with support and as­sistance from the French Embassy.

The maiden meeting under the GAP project for women and women organisations discussed gender angles to parliamentary meeting and ensuring women MPs received feedback from the groups to inform their work on the floor of the House is interactive and engaging.

Madam Gomashie, acknowl­edged factors such as cultural limitation, lack of resources, stigmatisation, right education, and adversarial nature of politics among others identified as set­backs to women’s involvement in mainstream politics.

She encouraged women to take their eyes off the obstacles, perceptions and attempt to break new grounds and urged their male counterparts in Parliament and leadership of political parties to encourage women to contest as MPs so as to reduce the gap.

Mr Bedzrah, who is the Chairman of Minority Caucus in Parliament, citied the significant role women played and narrated an incident at a meeting of the ECOWAS Parliament where a female Nigerian MP was able to bring calm during a near scuffle among some of the parliamentar­ians.

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