February 14, 2011

Ms Samia Nkrumah, the Convention Peoples Party (CPP) Member of Parliament for Jomoro at the weekend challenged gender advocates to join the Elections 2012 contest as they seek to empower other women to contest for elective positions.

“Empowering women through capacity building workshops are good but more importantly we need all gender advocates to join in the contest for political position especially parliamentary seats in Elections 2012.

“Most gender advocates have leverage in the social-political environment, which must translate into assuming leadership positions to influence national policies,” Ms Nkrumah told the Ghana News Agency in an interview on the sidelines of the workshop to develop a women’s manual at Aburi. The workshop on the theme: A Woman’s Manual Towards Increased Women’s Parliamentary Representation”, was organised by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) for representatives of four political parties with representation in Parliament.

Sharing her experience at the workshop, Ms Nkrumah who is seeking for a second term bid for the Jomoro seat, said the path to gender equality must start from the local level, through the political grass root structures to the national levels into governance.

She noted that the only way for achieving gender parity is through legislation, without which it is not going to work, as the terrain is becoming more and more difficult for women”.

Ms Nkrumah who is also contesting for the CPP National Chairmanship slot, encouraged women aspirants never to be discouraged by negative tags, name calling and personality attacks “You must develop the stamina to go through the rough campaign terrain you need to be bold, firm and courageous and develop strong mental aptitude that the impossible is possible.

“Your private life would be hit, but its important to focus on your strong famine qualities to move on never engage in personality attacks” .. Ms Nkrumah also advised aspiring women parliamentary candidates to form a strong team involving opinion leaders, traditional and religious leaders in their networking for the constituency.

Mrs Beatrice Boateng, New Patriotic Party Member of Parliament for New Juaben South, appealed to the media to support women aspirants, 93we are your sisters, wives, mothers and colleagues, we need encouragement rather than the constant personal attacks”.

She also urged gender advocacy groups to offer financial support to women aspirants as we need the cash to move around”. Mrs Boateng encouraged women aspirants especially those who failed at their first attempt never to be discouraged but mobilize and fight on, engage in social services to help your communities among other things.