The largest opposition party in Ghana, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has out-doored its Running Mate for the December 2020 General Elections, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang at a ceremony in Accra.
This is the first time a major political party in Ghana has selected a female Running Mate, a huge plus for the NDC’s Candidate John Dramani Mahama. Prof. Opoku-Agyemang will become the first female Vice-President in the history of Ghana should her party win the December elections.
This is a clear sign of change. Until now, and despite a number of high-flying female appointments especially by President John Mahama and his predecessor, President John Evans Atta Mills, the Ghanaian society has not particularly pro- women. This is confirmed by all available data.
It all starts from childhood. A Ghanaian child is expected to attend 11.5 years of schooling. However, the expectation for Ghanaian boys is 11.7 years, and 11.4 years for Ghanaian girls.
The average number of years spent in school by young people aged 25 and older is 7.2. For Ghanaian boys, it is 7.9 years, while for Ghanaian girls it is 6.4 years. On average, therefore, men have more access to education than women.
63.1% of Ghanaians aged 25 years and older have at least some secondary education. This is true for 71.1% of males, and for only 55.7% of females. And only 22.5% of graduates from science, technology, engineering and mathematics programmes in tertiary education are female.
Only 12.7% of the country’s 275 parliamentary seats are held by women. According to the Human Development Index, the score for Ghanaian men is 0.622 and for Ghanaian women, 0.567.
(Source: Check the above data at http://www.hdr.undp.org/en/countries/profiles/GHA)
The labour force participation rate in Ghana is 67.8%. It is 71.9% for men and 63.6% for women. Compared to Ghanaian men, Ghanaian women have less access to the formal or informal labour market, which makes women more vulnerable to poverty. (The data above are taken from the ILOSTAT database.)
All in all, the Ghanaian society is male-centred. Women’s voice, which is the voice of half of the society, is seldom heard. And this is wrong.
The nomination of Prof. Opoku-Agyemang is a sign that all this is about to change. The time has come for Ghanaian women to stand up and let their voice be heard!