September 13, 2016

Women’s participation in politics ideal for sustainable development

Written by Alex Blege

This post originally appeared on News Ghana.

Women’s participation in development and politics is a human rights issue – a precondition for Sustainable Development. This had been captured in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs 2000-2015) and the current Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 2015-2030).

Both development frameworks state, MDG 3, “Promote gender equality and empower women”; SDG 5, “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”. Although, the MDGs have been upgraded to the SDGs, it’s necessary to state it.

Gender equality is accepting and valuing equally the difference between men and women and the diverse roles they play in society. Women Empowerment is in three levels: unequal power relations are transferred and women gain greater equality with men; at the government level, women’s empowerment would include the extension of all fundamental social, economic and political rights to women; finally, at the individual level, it is the process by which women gain inner power to gain their rights, gain greater self-esteem and control over their own lives in personal and social relationships.

In spite of the above facts, women have faced various challenges in their attempt to take part in leadership positions – these include: political, socio-economic, ideological and psychological (or socio-cultural). Also Fawcet Society (2004), a women’s NGO in Britain, sums it in four Cs: cash, childcare, culture and confidence.

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