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Kadaga roots for women rights in Ghana

FILE PHOTO: Rebecca Kadaga

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has yet again taken to the international scene the fight for equal representation of women in leadership.

Kadaga told legislators and key leaders in Ghana that states can increase participation of women in leadership and power through legislation and organized state systems.

Kadaga was delivering a keynote address at a public lecture in commemoration of 25 years of a democratically elected Parliament of Ghana, Thursday, 13 December 2018.

“For states to increase women participation, they are required to put into place legislative, judicial and other administrative systems,” said Kadaga.

Kadaga made reference to Uganda and Rwanda’s laws that have systematically ensured an increase in women in Parliament.

“Article 78 of the Uganda Constitution has a provision that ensures as long as there is a district, there must be a woman representative elected through universal suffrage, it is really important that you amend your laws,” she said.

She highlighted other Parliamentary seats in Uganda such as the Army, Youths, workers and persons with disabilities, which provide for female representation.

Kadaga noted that various African states have laws that recognize women representation in leadership but that effort is required to ensure implementation.

She urged the Parliament of Ghana to advocate for funding of women to contest in elections as provided in the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

“You are supposed to support women funding; a lot of women actually cannot afford to contest in an election because of the associated costs,” she said.

Citing Nigeria and Botswana, Kadaga decried the low representation of women in the legislature saying: “it is frustrating that up to now representation of women is still low. You can imagine a giant like Nigeria has 4 per cent of women in Parliament” adding that “In Botswana there are only three women in Parliament, one is the Speaker, so they cannot have a women’s caucus.”

Ghana will hold its general elections in the next two years. In a bid to ensure gender parity, the Speaker of the Parliament, Aaron Michael Oquaye, is spearheading consultations both locally and internationally on how to raise the number of women in Parliament, which currently stands at 12 per cent.

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SOURCE: Uganda Parliament Media

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