ABANTU launches scorecard to check political parties

Dr. Rose Mensah-Kutin, Director ABANTU West Africa
Dr. Rose Mensah-Kutin, Director ABANTU West Africa

ABANTU for development, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) seeking to the welfare of women across the country with support from STAR-Ghana has launched another flagship project dubbed “Scorecard on Political Party Commitment to Gender Equality in Ghana”.

According to the Director, ABANTU for Development, Dr. Rose Mensah-Kutin the rationale for the project is to increase women’s civic engagement and voice in promoting peace and democratic governance in the run-up to elections 2016 and beyond.

She explained that the scorecard project is to serve as a tracking tool for evaluating political party practices for accountability and gender responsiveness.

Speaking at the launch in Accra, Dr Mensah-Kutin hinted that in the context of Ghana, critical gaps and challenges remain including the need to ensure women’s equal participation and leadership at decision-making levels towards gender parity as part of promoting peace, democratic governance and sustainable development.

Dr. Mensah-Kutin warned that failure to promoting equality can give rise to destructive tendencies that can negatively affect the stimulation of sustainable development.

She further explained that a truly constitutional multiparty democracy that Ghana is trying to institutionalise, the marginalisation of women poses a challenge to the provision of societal benefits central to true democracy.

“Gender responsiveness in political party is a key determinant of women’s processes, particularly at the national level. It is political parties that aggregate interest, present political alternatives, select party functionaries and determine which candidates are nominated and elected, offer the base of electoral support as well as ensure which issues achieve national prominence” the ABANTU for Development director opined.

The scorecard indicates, the political parties under study vary in the extent to which they have promoted women into leadership positions and recruited women as party candidates, as well as the extent to which they address political, economic and social issues of special concern to women in policy development. She elaborated.

According to her ABANTU believes that by democratising the use of the Scorecard as a monitoring tool, it will contribute to strengthening capacity, agency and influence of women’s right-based organisations on analysing and effectively influencing the policies and practices of political parties.

“In the same vain, as a monitoring tool, it should influence a shift in the policies and practices of political parties to advance, respect, protect and fulfil women’s rights and promote gender justice.” Dr Mensah-Kutin added.

 

Source: Ghana/todaygh.com/Franklin Asare-Donkoh

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