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Women in Local Politics

Voice and Participation in Ghana

Module

This collection of resources examines women’s political participation and empowerment in Ghana, as well as the history and development of Ghana’s women’s rights organisations.

Ghana is credited with several ‘firsts’ on the continent of Africa, including its independence in 1957, its peaceful changeovers of power in multi-party elections in 1992, and its public and media image as an oasis of peace and stability in a conflict-prone region.

Yet, this image does not necessarily show the struggles experienced in the country from the 1960s to 1980s, as the country went through a number of coups and military regimes, often oppressing women’s rights groups and women’s political participation.

However, after the introduction of a new constitution in 1992, women were guaranteed 50% of the seats in local government and high numbers of Ghanaian women have successfully voted in national elections every 4 years.

Despite these successes Ghana’s politics remains dominated by men and can be unfriendly for women wanting to enter, for example the 50% guarantee in local elections is rarely met, with women only making up 10% of the seats in the 2006. The reason behind this can be traced to cultural and social attitudes to men and women’s roles in Ghana.

Delve into these resources and activities in detail as they look at the history of women’s organisations in Ghana, explore women’s political participation, highlight the barriers to their participation and discover an alternative pathway to women’s empowerment.