Madam Abla Dzifa Gomashie, Member of Parliament (MP) for Ketu South has disagreed with the ‘women are their own enemies’ claim.
She said in most cases, the men counterparts were the architects of the rivalry and the unhealthy competitions among women and asked the men to stop causing hindrance to the progress of women.
Madam Gomashie said this in her closing remarks at a Gender Advocacy to Parliament (GAP) town hall meeting at Aflao, Ketu South organised by Parliamentary Network Africa (PNAfrica), a civil society parliamentary monitoring organisation working across the continent with funding support from the French Embassy.
The meeting, the first under the GAP project meant for women and women group organisations to discuss the gender angles to the parliamentary meeting and to ensure that women MPs receive feedback from these groups to inform their work on the floor of Parliament, saw participants identify challenges to women involvement in politics and other fields and suggested ways to addressing them.
“Women are not their own enemies. It is the culture that determines how to think. The patriarchal system, the socialisation process – assigning gender roles to boys and girls pulled women back early in life.” Madam Gomashie said.
The first-ever female MP in the entire southern Volta: Akatsi North and South, North, Central and South Tongu, Ketu North and South, and Keta and Anlo Constituencies since the Fourth Republic encouraged women to conquer the fears, discrimination, perceptions and all other obstacles to attain their aspirations.
She used herself as an example saying, she defied all odds, closed her ears to discouraging comments and soldiered on and noted she would not have made history as the first female MP from the area if she had given up.
Mr Gilbert Borketey Boyefio, Programmes Manager, PNAFRICA said Ghana must be seen to be making efforts to attain the Sustainable Development Goal 5 of gender equality, and empowerment of women and girls and the best way to do that was to retain the current number of female MPs and vote more women to the next Parliament to advocate for women issues.
Participants at the meeting identified cultural limitation, lack of resources, stigmatisation and right education among others as setbacks to women’s involvement in politics and progress in other fields.
They proposed creation of fund by women caucus in Parliament to empower other women to join politics, female child empowerment and finding ways to deal with teenage pregnancy to remove some of the barriers to girls/women’s progress.