The First Lady of Ghana, Rebecca Akufo-Addo has lamented the low participation of women in politics. She said women face inequality through stereotypes and social practices.
Speaking at a forum in Kumasi, in the Ashanti Region, to mark this year’s International Women’s Day under the theme, “Breaking the bias”, Mrs. Akufo Addo also called for the involvement of more women in peace negotiations. She said women have the potential when it comes to conflict resolution.
“Women’s representation is still lagging in politics. Our constitution guarantees gender equality, however, women still face inequalities directly and indirectly through stereotypes and social practices. We know conflict affects women and children the most and yet women are largely absent from the peace table”.
She said studies however show that there is a 35% greater chance of peace agreements lasting 15 years when women participate.
She quizzed that if women are integral to peace, why are women largely excluded from peace negotiations?
“History shows that we have indeed come a long way yet a lot more needs to be done. It is true we have made substantial progress when it comes to education, however, gender disparities remain”, she said.
The First Lady also lamented about the poor state of remuneration for Ghanaian women.
“Women are still paid less than men for the same work, yet their contributions to society is enormous”.
She posited that, “African women form the majority of farmers, educationists and healthcare providers”.
”Generations and generations before me have put in their time to address these biases. It is now for my generation to pass on the baton to the younger generation. You are now the frontline for advocating a gender equal world. We are behind you, supporting with eye on sight, resources and years of experience in the trenches”.
Mrs Akufo Addo used the occasion to encourage women to use their voices and platforms to cause the necessary change in society.