Gender Ministry Empowers Women Caucus In Parliament
July 24, 2018 4:22 pm
The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) in collaboration with the Israeli Embassy and The Golda Meir Mount Carmel International Training Center (MCTC) has in a one-day capacity building workshop empowered the Women Caucus of Ghana’s Parliament.
The workshop being the first of its kind on the theme “Strengthening the Role of Female in Parliament” equipped the female parliamentarians with the needed skills to make them more relevant in Parliament and also solicit for their collaboration in bridging the gender gap in the country and increasing the number of women in Parliament.
Facilitators at the workshop in Senchi included, First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Joe Osei Owusu, Hon. Cecilia Dapaah, Minister for Aviation, Dr. Michal Sela, Trainer from Israel and Major Don Chebe, former Director General of Ghana Broadcasting Corporation who took the participants through How to be an effective MP? Research & Specialization, Lobbying, Diplomacy, Networking & Fundraising, Adaptive Leadership & Branding, i-speak, i-communicate and simulation among others.
In her address, the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon. Otiko Afisah Djaba said it was crucial to strengthen the female MPs following the key role they play in the development of their constituents (especially the women, children, the poor and vulnerable).
Ms. Djaba added “it was not enough for you (Female Parliamentarian) to win your seat as a Parliamentarian but you should see your position as a platform to rebrand yourself to become an acceptable role model so that our young girls can desire to take up such positions to help bridge the huge disparity between the number of female MPs as compared to MPs.
The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Joseph Osei Owusu on his part educated the Female Legislatures on ways they could perform their duties as Parliamentarians more efficiently and effectively. “In order to become very relevant in Parliament, you need to make very tasty and insightful presentations, speak on issues that make you stand out. Make sure your contribution is very credible before you speak, whatever statement you’re making must bring people to think about the issue you have raised” he advised.
He continued “as a nation we are a far cry away from seeing men and women as equal, therefore it is your duty as female leaders to create a good image about women in leadership. When you are in parliament, you need to demonstrate you are strong women and you are here to fight on behalf of all other women in Ghana to help change the perception people have about women.
The Minister for Aviation and Former MP for Bantama, Hon.Cecilia Dapaah during her presentation said Female Parliamentarians needed to develop effective lobbying and negotiation skills to help them create awareness about their intended projects for constituencies and learn better ways of implementing them to ensure that their constituents do not lose faith in them.
A Trainer and Resource Person from Israel, Madam Michal Sela emphasized on the need for the participants to be fully aware of their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. “As an individual, you need to know your make up, what makes you excel and vice versa. Don’t try to be a jack of all trades, you might not make it. Identify your strongest area and specialize in it, it will you a different from others” she noted.
Hon. Sarah Adjoa Sarfo, Deputy Majority Leader who doubles as the Chairperson of the Women Caucus in Parliament also expressed some few challenges she believed women in parliament faced. She emphasized on the challenges Female MPs face in the area of fundraising, balancing motherhood with the needs of constituents and the fierce opposition from male counterparts. She added that these reasons have deterred lot women from pursuing such positions but it was very necessary for the participants to press on and never give in to these challenges but rather strive to overcome them.
In the area of Public speaking and media engagement, Major (Retired) Don Chebe, a former Director General of GBC shared few techniques with the Female MPs.
“One of the most important keys you need to take note of in public speaking is your dressing and posture, sometimes how you look can put off your audience and you will attract the wrong kind of reviews. The people will lose the message you’re trying to convey” he revealed.
He added “you must also take time to investigate the people who invites you for media engagements, their target audience, what their program is about and whether the interviewer has a bias towards you. Most importantly your message must convey your vision, mission and essential facts” Major Don Chebe advised.
In her closing remarks, the Honorable Minister for Gender, urged the women to participate effectively in the areas of sensitization, training, and advocacy of women and children rights, and collaborate with her Ministry to create a better society for all.
The Participants shared their experiences, concerns, challenges and pledged their support and collaboration in enhancing the rights of the vulnerable both nationally and internationally. Most of the Female Parliamentarians who spoke to the media expressed their profound gratitude to the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon. Otiko Afisah Djaba for organizing the capacity building workshop for them. This, they say is the first of its kind being organised by the Ministry which has impacted positively to their work as female MPs.
Hon. Laadi Ayii Ayamba, Member of Parliament for Pusiga in the Upper East Region was full of praise to the ministry and however called for more of such practical and educative seminars for Female MPs.