Madam Lena Alai, Volta Regional Director of the Department of Gender, has called on voters to “change the face of democracy” by voting for women contesting the upcoming District Assembly and Unit Committee elections.
She said, “Gender roles, as well as religious and cultural beliefs value education of boys more than that of girls”, and that, the phenomenon limited the desire of girls and women from availing themselves to opportunities.
It also limited the females desire to participate in public life and needed the support of society to change the narrative.
Madam Alai made the call at a day’s sensitisation forum for men and boys on the effects of teenage pregnancy organised by the Department of Gender.
It was done in collaboration with the Volta Regional Coordinating Council (VRCC) with funding from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) – UNICEF’s joint Adolescent Girls Programme.
“In the Volta Region, socio-cultural practices entrenched by the presence and practice of a strong patriarchal system has shaped the socialisation process and acts as a barrier to efforts aimed at attainment of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (GEWE),” she said, and that it was time to change the order.
She expressed worry about the number of female Member of Parliaments (MPs) in the region, saying, it was unfortunate that, “out of 25 MPs in the region, only four are women and there is no female District Chief Executive in the Region.”
According to her, there are only 38 elected Assembly Women from 16 electoral areas out of 661 electoral areas in the region.
Madam Alai said the participation of women in decision making at the local level reflected the true meaning of democracy and was one of the indicators under Goal Five of the SDGs and must be taken seriously.
The forum was aimed at engaging men and boys on how to end teenage pregnancy.
It was on the theme, “well trained girls and boys, make a developed society.”