Women's participation in electoral processes is integral to democracy

Women and the Electoral process

 Women’s political participation and  representation at the local, national, and regional level is still very low. Electoral processes are meant to be inclusive, equal and transparent. This has however not been the case in Ghana and the larger West Africa Region. Elections are marred with malpractices and violations that reader the whole process unfair. The exclusion of women and especially young women in party dealings and larger process can be attributed to the lack of civic education. Lack of knowledge on the rights enshrined in the constitution prevents them from coming forth and demanding for their place. In other cases, political instability such as coup experienced in West Africa has caused an democracy backslide since power is acquired through violence instead of ballots. GenCED is working with partners in West Africa to educate people on their civic duty, to encourage active participation as well as uphold democracy  

Voting for representatives is a civic duty for all citizens as enshrined in the Ghana constitution and all other countries in Ghana. Voter apathy is however rampant especially among women and the youth. This has been attributed to the lack of civic knowledge among the population.

We do these through capacity building, training and leadership school which is open to all participants. GenCED West Africa builds capacities of political party members in Ghana and West Africa with skills that ensure they understand key frameworks. Through the Young Women Political Leadership school (YWPLS), GenCED West Africa nurtures the youth interested in leadership by giving them materials and building their confidence for enhanced political participation.

As children turn to the legal age, they are given identification which allows them to vote. To make the right decision, they however need to understand the stakes, responsibility and power these positions hold. Understanding electoral processes also means women and the youth do not shy away from vying to be leaders. That they understand their rights in the whole process and can leverage on the law to fully enjoy them.

The West African Young Women in Politics Forum (WAYMF) is an annual forum coordinated by GenCED West Africa that brings likeminded young women from all over the ECOWAS region to peer-learn and fond solutions to common and unique issues experienced by young women seeking to be involved in the electoral process.

Increasing Women's Participation in Politics

Women's' political participation reinforced by frameworks such as the Maputo protocol

Women's inclusion in political leadership has been proven to bring development and equal rights. Through their diverse perspectives, experiences and thinking, better laws and policies are adopted.

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