FORMER PRESIDENT John Mahama has assured women in the country of his unflinching support for their empowerment should he win the next general elections and assume the presidency in January next year.
He noted that women often face obstacles in society especially discrimination and domestic violence.
Drawing lessons from his daughter, Farida’s life prospects, Mr. Mahama said he had developed particular empathy for women and finds it a personal obligation to make Ghana a safer place for women because his daughter can live in a safe and equal world only when all Ghanaian girls and women live in such a world.
To this end, he said the NDC’s People’s Manifesto has pledged the best support ever for women against domestic violence and in favour of their empowerment.
He said that the NDC will create a national hotline to address gender based violence as well as building shelters for abused women. In addition, he explained that the party will provide moral, social and economic support to victims which he stressed are the first fundamental steps towards achieving true equality and women’s empowerment.
In his opinion this is necessary because men and women face life differently. Women he noted to face completely different obstacles in society, which cannot be adequately addressed if only men are in charge because men do not face these same problems so they cannot understand them properly.
The NDC flag-bearer emphasized that the above issues are the reasons why women must be in politics, which calls for gender quotas that must not be seen as mere exercises in compassion or tokenism but are a moral necessity.
“Gender quotas make sure that women’s voices also count, this is the only way to make sure that we see things from all perspectives, and that we see all the obstacles, and all the problems, and find solutions for everyone irrespective of our gender,” he maintained.
Furthermore, he assured Ghanaians that in his party’s quest to create one million decent and sustainable jobs that will guarantee the youth jobs, the party has women in mind.
He said that the 10billion Cedis ‘Big Push’ investment will build markets for women to sell their wares and become economically independent. There will be roads built to link farms to market centres to help transport produce faster and easier. There will also be health facilities across the country to make access to health care easier and available.
According to him, girls will be supported to learn new skills and vocations under the National Apprenticeship Programme (NAP) and the Free Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). He added that start-up kits will be provided for them to commence their small businesses.
To complement the above, Mr. Mahama mentioned that the 2020 People’s Manifesto of the NDC government will ensure that a minimum of 30% quota of appointments go to women.
There will also be legislation to increase maternity leave from three months to four months.
He concluded that the aim of these policies is to empower women to have their voice count in every aspect of national development.