Party Leadership Must Encourage, Mentor Ladies In Politics – Hannah Bissiw

Dr Louisa Hannah Bissiw, the National Women Organiser of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has called on women leadership of political parties to encourage and mentor young ladies in and out of tertiary education to partake in active partisan politics. She said women’s participation in partisan politics was low and needed strategic intervention on the part of parties that believed in equity and equality to reverse the trend. She made the call at a stakeholder meeting held by the Gender Centre for Empowering Development (GenCED) for representatives of the NDC, New Patriotic Party (NPP), Convention People’s Party (CPP), and Peoples National Convention (PNC) to deliberate on how to enhance participation of women in active politics in the parties. Dr. Bissiw said: “It is unfortunate how when ‘Youth Organiser’s positions’ are mentioned, everyone starts thinking of a ‘male’ and only think of a female when the position of a Women Organiser comes up. They’ve reduced us to cooking, serving water and when I see a women organiser serving food, I stop her because that is not organising or what we are meant for.” Also a former Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Bissiw said research had shown that any government with a larger representation of women in politics, had corruption malpractices reduced drastically. She implored the female leadership of political parties to mentor the young ones, go with them to important meetings at regional and national levels to enable and prepare them for future positions within the parties and beyond. Ms Perpetual Lomokie, the NPP Deputy Youth Organiser, who also emphasised the need to mentor the young ones, pleaded with the youth who had interest in politics to be humble if they wanted mentorship.
Mr Theophilus Tetteh Chaie, the Greater Accra Regional Secretary of the NDC, said to totally climb the political ladder with women, political parties ought to do constitutional amendments. He noted that many women with interest in politics were hesitant to start from the grassroots, adding: “So it becomes difficult for the men who began from the base to let them have power when they appear suddenly and want to be at the top.” Meanwhile, Mr Chaie said women did about 70 to 80 per cent of political work, especially during campaign periods as they were goal setters. Mrs Grace Acheampong, the Greater Accra Regional Women Organiser of the NPP, bemoaned the poor attitude of some young people who had interest to play crucial roles in active politics. “The challenge is that they want the easy way to get to the top and at times ask for money before they cooperate to do something for the party. Meanwhile, it takes a lot of sacrifices to get to the top,” she said. Her agenda, she said was however, to push more young women to play about 70 per cent of the active roles in the NPP to increase women representation in decision making processes.
Ms Esther Tawiah, the Executive Director, GenCED, explained that the meeting had become necessary to solicit the input of the parties for strategies to attract many young women into the political landscape. She said GenCED was going to initiate a two-year project to train and sponsor young women in political parties to serve on Manifesto Committees, Communication Teams, and Research Committees. The training will take participants through topics like leadership and communication, among others, with a special focus on internal party structures.

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