What factors account for the difference in gender representation in Ghana's Parliament? What is driving Ghana towards the achievement of gender equality in parliamentary representation? What measures are in place to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal five (SDG5) in the area specified? What seems to be slowing the process? Against this backdrop, countries including Ghana have consented to global developmental goals, particularly the SDG 5, aimed at achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls by the year 2030. The issue of gender equality and empowerment has therefore been central to the political gender representation discourse as women, comprising about fifty (50) percent of the global population are underrepresented in several parliaments worldwide and the case is no different in Ghana. Although there is extensive literature on parliamentary representation, few explore parliamentary gender representation in Africa and particularly Ghana. This study is thus, a qualitative exploratory case study that discusses Ghana's drive towards achieving the SDG 5 in parliamentary representation with a focus within 2015, the year of adoption of the global goal to 2019, using a ‘gendered lens’. Hence, the study adopted a purposive sampling approach in the selection of twenty (20) male and female respondents, comprising, former and incumbent Members of Parliament (MPs), experienced Senior Members in academia, Political Party Officials as well as individuals involved in gender programs. Using thematic analysis, the findings of the study revealed that factors including, structural, cultural, socio-economic, contending forces on morality, attacks on women’s personalities, among others serve as barriers to parliamentary gender representation. Furthermore, factors such as advocacy, pressure from organizations and donors, emulation of international best practices serve as a push for Ghana to achieve set targets. Whiles there are available measures including the establishment of gender sensitive governmental and non-governmental institutions, capacity building and training initiatives, political party efforts to reduce filing fees for women, the establishment of women’s organizations and wings to advance interest within political parties as well as the ratification of several gender sensitive protocols and agreements, there are yet some challenges such as inadequate funding, cumbersome and bureaucratic processes in implementing gender policies, misallocation of resources, inadequate priority on gender issues, inherent socio-cultural issues etcetera. Although these measures aimed at achieving gender equality are available, the number of women in the national parliament shortfalls the threshold advanced by the United Nations (UN), a clear indication that, existing measures amid incessant patriarchal systems, entrenched cultural and gender norms among other challenges, have rendered the measures inadequate. Based on key findings, the study recommends and concludes that gender equality in parliamentary representation requires a collaborative effort of all stakeholders. In addition, the passage and implementation of the Affirmative Action Bill, which makes provision for gender-based quotas, as well as the adoption of other gender mainstreaming policies at all levels, among others could enhance Ghana's chances of achieving the 2030 agenda on parliamentary gender representation as these measures have proven to increase the numbers of women parliamentary representation. Without these necessary measures in place and despite the overwhelming positive reactions from all respondents on the relevance of gender equality in parliamentary representation, the outlook looks blurred and set targets are likely to be unachievable given the slow progress. Action is therefore required.
AKUMIAH, A (2021). GHANA’S DRIVETOWARDS ACHIEVING THE SDG5: THE CASE OF PARLIAMENTARY GENDER REPRESENTATION. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/ghana-s-drivetowards-achieving-the-sdg5-the-case-of-parliamentary-gender-representation
AKUMIAH, ANDELINE "GHANA’S DRIVETOWARDS ACHIEVING THE SDG5: THE CASE OF PARLIAMENTARY GENDER REPRESENTATION" Afribary. Afribary, 30 Mar. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/ghana-s-drivetowards-achieving-the-sdg5-the-case-of-parliamentary-gender-representation. Accessed 05 Jun. 2023.
AKUMIAH, ANDELINE . "GHANA’S DRIVETOWARDS ACHIEVING THE SDG5: THE CASE OF PARLIAMENTARY GENDER REPRESENTATION". Afribary, Afribary, 30 Mar. 2021. Web. 05 Jun. 2023. < https://afribary.com/works/ghana-s-drivetowards-achieving-the-sdg5-the-case-of-parliamentary-gender-representation >.
AKUMIAH, ANDELINE . "GHANA’S DRIVETOWARDS ACHIEVING THE SDG5: THE CASE OF PARLIAMENTARY GENDER REPRESENTATION" Afribary (2021). Accessed June 05, 2023. https://afribary.com/works/ghana-s-drivetowards-achieving-the-sdg5-the-case-of-parliamentary-gender-representation