NALAG urges MMDAs to integrate gender mainstreaming into dev’t planning

Politics Nalag Gender
Politics Nalag Gender

The National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG), has urged Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to integrate its gender mainstreaming drive into development planning and budgeting to ensure gender parity.

The drive under the theme ‘One Male, One Female’ (1M1F) is hinged on empowering women in the local government structures through institutional strengthening, inclusiveness, and advocacy for implementation of policies for improved performance.

Madam Gladys Otae Addo Osei, the NALAG Women’s Representative and the Assemblywoman for Ogbojo-Adenta Electoral Area in the Greater region, said the collective commitment to gender mainstreaming was one of the most effective ways to embolden women to take up leadership positions for accelerated development.

She was speaking at a day’s capacity building workshop for women to ascend to higher heights in decision-making at the local government level, arranged by NALAG.

Madam Osei said women constitute more than half of Ghana’s population, hence, without their participation in the public discourse or the decision-making process, it would be difficult for Ghana to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Unfortunately, she said, women’s participation at all levels of decision-making was not encouraging, something she attributed to patriarchy or male dominance, which was a key aspect of the Ghanaian social system.

“In many countries around the world, women were not treated as being equal to men and Ghana was not an exception. Women are more likely to live in poverty, have less land, are excluded from decision-making, and earn minimal income.

“These existing hardships make it hard for women’s empowerment in Ghana,” she noted, and urged all women to be bold and take up leadership positions at the national and local levels.

For that matter, Madam Osei challenged women to step out of the “imposter syndrome” of not believing in their own works even when an achievement had been chalked, saying that attitude brought down their confidence level.

“Women are now improving on leadership positions, and it is important to encourage ourselves, because it is our world, and we have to take charge and climb the success ladder together.

“Women are gradually making their leadership presence felt at national, regional and global levels and reaching new milestones across a wide spectrum of human activities in modern times,” she noted.

Dr Daniel Appiah, Lecturer at the Department of Public Administration at the University of Ghana who facilitated the programme, encouraged women to avail themselves for leadership positions and to “stand out to be counted.”

He said women could not be counted while sitting when others were standing, therefore, they must strive to the highest limit and endeavour to leave an imprint in the annals of their organizations for posterity to hail them.

Mrs Clara Afranie, a participant working with Twifo Atti-Morkwa District Assembly and other participants commended the initiative by NALAG and called for regular engagements to build the capacity of women for accelerated development.

They indicated that women in both the formal and informal sectors had over the years contributed their quota to the socio-economic development of the country, yet they continued to face negative situations such as inequality and stereotyping, which undermined their development.

Mrs Afranie appealed to Parliament, through the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, to expedite action to ensure the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill into law to promote the interest of women.

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