Women have gained access to careers beyond the traditional homemaker, and the ability to pursue higher education. Statistically, there are more females in Ghana than males and the Ghana Statistical Service gives the ratio of men to women as one is to four, meaning that among every five Ghanaians, there are four females and one male.
Therefore, one wonders, why female participation in the political process is still below par. Currently in Ghana, out of the 275 parliamentary seats, only 34 are occupied by women. Again there are only 13 substantive female Ministers and 10 female Deputy Ministers in Government, out of the 123 ministers in Ghana.
This notwithstanding, women in Ghana have been at the forefront of politics for several years. We recount the contributions of Agnes Oforiwa Tagoe-Quarcoopome and the market women of Makola to the CPP that enabled it to lead Ghana to political freedom in 1957. We can also mention the likes of Theodosia Okoh who designed the Ghana National Flag. And there are many more females whose names have not been recognised because they may not have held any public office.
Fortunately, from the presidential seat to members of parliament, Ghana has seen a surge in women’s participation in elections. In the 2016 election, former first lady Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings became the first Ghanaian woman to have run for the presidency as a flagbearer. Even though she didn’t attract the needed votes to make a bolder political statement for women, she took a step that most people have come to admire and respect.
As another political period is rife in Ghana, it is delighting to know and right to recognise the women who are still playing key invaluable roles in the political process. It is so apparent that women are still forerunners in the upcoming election and in some cases are being used as the determinant of some candidates’ potentials of winning.
After the recent appointment of former Education Minister, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku Agyemang as the first female running mate for a major political party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), in Ghana, the conversation about the role of women have been at the tip of every commentators’ mouth. Many are hoping that she can be celebrated as the first female vice president after 7th December 2020.
Prince Akpah, the founder and managing director of Avance Media, has listed female politicians that he thinks will influence the upcoming elections:
Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang, Running Mate, NDC
As the first woman to ever receive an appointment to become the running mate to a major political party in Ghana, Prof Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang adds a lot of value to the upcoming election. Her position offers Ghanaian feminists the opportunity to make a reality what they have been advocating for in a long time -a seat at the table.
If she wins, she will become the first female Vice President of Ghana. Her records as the first female Vice-chancellor of a public university and former Minister of Education are key contributors to the discussion regarding her potentials to deliver a sterling leadership if her party wins the presidential elections.