January 21, 2011

The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) says its decision to slash 50% off the filing fee for potential female parliamentary aspirants of the party signals its desire to support more women to enter into politics.

The National Executive Committee of the party at a meeting fixed the filing fee for those desirous of competing in the party’s parliamentary primaries at Gh¢16, 000. Gh¢10, 000 of the Gh¢16, 000 is to be paid into a reserved fund for the development of the party.

The committee however decided to rebate fifty percent (50%) of the filing fee to females. That means all potential female aspirants will pay Gh¢8, 000 instead of Gh¢16, 000. This discounts an earlier story by an Accra newspaper that a fee of Gh¢36,000 had been fixed by the party

Speaking to Citi News, the General Secretary of the NPP, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie popularly known as Sir John, said the move to rebate the filling fee for women is to encourage more women to participate in all levels of governance.

“Yesterday (January 20) the conclusion was that women ought to receive fifty percent rebate of the fees that has been put out. We want to encourage more women to participate in the process and this in the wisdom of the National Executive Committee is the way forward”.

Gender Activist and member of the NPP, Ursula Owusu has lauded the initiative and called on other political parties to do same.

Madam Owusu, who is a potential parliamentary aspirant for the party, said a lot of women will take advantage of this initiative to contest for political positions.

“I think this is commendable and other parties should emulate this. This is sending a clear signal to the whole world that we want more women in parliament and at all levels of governance”

Meanwhile, a political scientist at the University of Ghana believes the initiative by the NPP will help deal with the high level of apathy among women when it comes to contesting for political positions.

In an interview with Citi News, Mr. Gyampo suggested that other political parties consider implementing the idea and further put in place measures to improve women participation at district and constituency level.