Parliament supports call for more women leaders in politics

Members of Parliament community and civil society leaders from Ghana and the Commonwealth gathered in Accra today, 6 August 2019, to start a two-day conference on inclusive politics and the unique benefits that women bring to political leadership.

Over the two days of the conference 6-7 August, participants will discuss women’s political careers, their pathways to leadership and the types of policies and investments that lead to more inclusive societies and political systems.

Participants will also construct success studies of how women succeed in political parties, parliament and elections.

The conference which is being hosted by the Parliament of Ghana and co-organised with Commonwealth Partnership for Democracy (CP4D) is implemented by the UK’s democracy support agency the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD), in partnership with other UK organisations: The Commonwealth Local Government Forum.

Speaking at the conference, Seyi Akiwowo CEO of Glitch a not-for-profit working to end online abuse said: “Women globally are 27 times more likely to be harassed online by men and research has shown this is even worse for black women and women in politics. This is a threat to gender equality, democratic engagement and democracies around the world.

“This is why I’m both honoured and excited to be in Ghana with Westminster Foundation for Democracy co-creating a safe space for women across the continent of Africa, helping to develop their leadership skills and share key tools that has helped with my political career in the UK.”

Shannon O’ Connell, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy’s Senior Advisor for Gender, Inclusion and Politics said “Ghana has extraordinary women leaders at all levels of society. They may not all have titles that offer them formal authority, but women in civil society, community organising, local leadership, education, business and many other fields are strong and capable leaders.

“I look forward to supporting these women and other equality activists from Ghana and throughout the Commonwealth who are working to create higher levels of inclusion and representative decision- making processes.”

The outcomes of the conference in Accra will also feed into WFD and the University of Birmingham’s research on women in African parliaments: seeking impact against the odds, which seeks to improve understanding of how women legislators are able to influence policy outcomes in their roles on parliamentary committees.

The research is expected to be published by 2020.



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