The under representation of women in political governance reflects patriarchal social norms that contribute to and limit the role of women in Ghanaian society. The political environment is saturated with stereotypical conceptions of women as less assertive and lacking the charisma and stamina to play major roles in decision-making and in political affairs. Although women are entitled to equal rights under Ghana’s constitution, there are disparities with regards to education, employment and social status which create a gender-gap in the representation and participation of women in politics.
Political parties are key institutions to promote the inclusion and participation of women in political governance but are restricted by their gender-blind policies, lack of structures to accommodate women and institutional marginalisation of women. These challenges raise several questions. Do political parties create an enabling environment to enhance the representation and participation of women in political institutions? How can political parties ensure equal rights and duties to enable women contribute to the consolidation of Ghana’s democracy? This paper explores the barriers that limit the participation of women in the political process and the steps political parties can take to encourage, empower and support the inclusion of women at all levels of governance. It also investigates the role women can play through political parties to improve the dynamism of political governance in Ghana.
Dr. Anna Naa Adochoo Mensah, is a Research Associate at the Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC). She is an International Humanitarian Law lecturer and her research focus includes: Conflict Resolution in Africa, Protection of women and children in armed conflicts, Sexual and Gender Based Violence in armed conflicts, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in peacekeeping theatres
Ms Shiela Naade Tetteh is an Administrative Assistant at FAAR-KAIPTC. Currently, she undertakes research on maritime security with the Conflict Management Programme and migration and terrorism particularly in the Sahel. Her research interests include security sector reform, international law, and security trends in emerging economies. Shiela holds a BA in Political Science and Chinese from the University of Ghana and an MA in Conflict, Peace and Security from the KAIPTC.
Ghana has been heralded as a beacon of peace by countries both regionally and internationally. However, Ghana battles with the insurgence of security issues such as election violence, vigilantism, armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, cyber fraud, unexplained murders and drug trafficking. The situation is further complicated by incessant latent conflicts, proliferation of armed groups, terrorism and violent extremist activities. There have been concerns raised on the changing nature of these security issues especially as the country prepares for yet another election. Among the many security issues is the potential threat electoral violence poses to democratic consolidation. This has necessitated the need to critically assess the potential dangers these security threats pose to the socio-economic and political security of Ghana most especially in the case of the 2020 general elections. The chapter will identify and examine the existing security threats to Ghana in the lead-up to election 2020 by exploring how these threats may influence the success or otherwise of the impending general elections. By conducting a threat assessment ahead of the 2020 election, the paper will bring into the limelight pragmatic policy recommendations and measures on how to safeguard the sanctity of elections in Ghana amidst these threats.
Fiifi Edu-Afful (PhD) is a Research Fellow at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC). His research interest includes peace operations, elections, gender, youth, terrorism and violent extremism.
Ruth Adwoa Frimpongis an administrative assistant with the Academic Affairs Unit of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre. She finds interest in research that borders on areas such as security sector governance, human security, gender and elections.