By Pat Aboagyewaa
A project aimed at empowering vulnerable women capacity to participate in local politics has been launched at Jirapa, the district capital of Jirapa District in the Upper West region under the ?Commitment for Africa Project?.
The ?Commitment for Africa Project? is an initiative of the German government aimed at enhancing civic engagement and partnership between Civil Society Actors in Ghana and Germany.
The project seeks to build the capacity of CSAs on advocacy and engagement through peer-to-peer joint projects proposed by German and Ghanaian CSAs.
The four months project being jointly implemented by Global Hands on Natural Environmental Care (GHANECare), a local NGO and Academy for Local Democracy (ALD), a German based NGO is funded by GIZ and CDD Ghana at the cost of GHc29000.
Speaking at the launching, the Executive Director of GHANECare, Richard Kuunaah, said the purpose of the project is to increase women?s direct participation in local governance in order to accelerate development.
This, he noted will enhance the local authority?s ability to respond to the priority needs and aspirations of the local population, especially vulnerable women in a more inclusive way and help a sustainable development.

Mr Kuunaah therefore encouraged women to take active part in the forthcoming District Assembly Elections.

Launching the project, the DCE for Jirapa, Nelly Vivian Kunko, said women are not well represented in local governance even though they form the largest population of the nation.

She revealed that Jirapa District has only six women representation both elected and appointed, which she described as woefully low and not encouraging.

The DCE noted that even though the decentralization process was to increase women participation in decision-making, however she mentioned lower economic and social status as well as financial constraint as some of the major factors limiting women participation in local politics.

She explained that women?s performance in elections has been muted and attributed it to lack of self-confidence, a limited capacity to communicate in the English language and lack of understanding of assembly procedures are some of the challenges facing women.

Miss Kunko lauded the project, saying it has come in at the appropriate time and will help sensitize as well as encourage them to take up leadership positions in their communities.

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