The Assemblies of God, Ghana, has urged the electorate to vote for women and persons with disability (PWDs) in the December 17 local level elections.

The church is of the view that increasing the representation and participation of the two marginalised groups in local governance structures would strengthen the decentralisation process in the country. 

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A statement dated November 28, 2019 and signed by the General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, Ghana, Rev. Prof. Paul Frimpong-Manso, said the church was on a campaign to galvanise the electorate to vote to promote gender and disability balance in compliance with the Sustainable Development Goal5.

It would also promote equity, inclusion and participation of women and PWDs in local government in order not to leave them from decision making at the district level of governance.

The church questioned: “How can we accelerate the pace of development in our communities when we leave out the majority who are women (51.2 per cent) and persons with disability (three per cent) in key decision-making roles?”

Data  

Providing data, the statement said over the years, the representation of women and PWDs in Ghana at the district level had been abysmal.

For example in 1998, the number of women and PWDs who contested for the elections were 547 but 196 representing 35 per cent, won.   

In 2002 , the number was 965 with 341 (35.3 per cent) winning while in 2006, 1,753 contested with 478 (27.3 per cent) winning. 

“In 2019, out of the 18,510 nominations received by the Electoral Commission, male nominations were 17,601 whereas females were only 909.

For the Unit Committee out of a total of 38,520, the male nominations received were 34,769 but the females were only 3751. 

The data for persons with disability, although not available, are even worse than the females,”  the statement said. 

“Women and persons with disability need access in local governance to enable their voices to be heard in decision-making roles at the district level. 

Thus we need to give them our unalloyed support to push them to win in 2019 district assembly election,” said the statement. 

Abuse

In the estimation of the church, women, and persons with disability had been subjects of injustice and unspeakable abuses that had affected their dignity, confidence and representation in leadership positions. 

“In spite of the various challenges faced by these two targeted groups, whenever given the opportunity, they have demonstrated their ability to excel. 

“It is critical that we use this December 2019 District Assembly election to increase their numbers to enable them to change the negative perceptions and attitudes that people have about them, as well as provide them with additional opportunities to demonstrate that being female or disabled does not mean inability,” it stated.

Commendation

The church commended the Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation for an advocacy campaign it was undertaking to raise awareness and support for the creation of an enabling environment in the communities for increased votes for persons with disability and women in the district assembly elections. 



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