Nineteen females have filed their nominations with the Electoral Commission to contest the upcoming Assembly Member Elections in the Upper West Region, out of a total of 968 persons.
Only one female filed to contest in the Wa Municipality, two in Wa West Constituency, two in Nadowli/Kaleo Constituency, one in Daffiama/Bussie/Issa, four in Jirapa, two in Lambussie, four in Lawra, one in Nandom, and two in Sissala East.No female filed nomination to contest in the Sissala West and Wa East districts.
Mr Ali Osman, the Upper West Regional Director of the EC revealed this to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Wa.
Also, 75 females out of a total of 1,994 people filed to contest in the Unit Committee elections in the region.
Only three Persons with Disability (PWDs) also filed to contest the Assembly Member positions, while two PWDs filed to contest the Unit Committee positions.
In all, there were 293 Electoral Areas (EA) in the region, out of which 267 were contested, while 207 Unit Committees were being contested.
Madam Charity Batuure, the Upper West Regional Director, Department of Gender, told the GNA that women’s participation in politics was low over the years due to factors including; financial constraints and fear of insults from some members of the public.
She said some religious teachings also discouraged women from participating in politics and seeking leadership positions as some of those teaching regarded women as followers rather than leaders.
Madam Batuure also explained that domestic chores such as; cooking and caring for the family as well as women’s low confidence level impeded their efforts to participate and hold political positions.
She added that poor communication skills of some women also affected their ability to communicate their campaign messages effectively to the electorate to win elections.
The Gender Director said the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MGCSP) organised training for women seeking political power in 2015 and 2016 to coach them on how to carve their campaign messages to win the confidence of the electorate.
She said the Ministry, this year, planned to provide financial support and coaching to women contesting in the upcoming Assembly and Unit Committee Elections to carry out their campaign on the media.
Madam Batuure encouraged women to play active roles in politics and to assume leadership roles to help break the gender gap in leadership and politics.