Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, wants the number of seats in Ghana’s parliament increased from 275 to 300, with a reserved number of 25 seats for women.
According to him, the extra 25 seats should reflect the size and strength of the political parties in Parliament and will help encourage women empowerment in the country.
Currently, there are 37 women MPs in Ghana’s parliament.
The Tamale South MP made this suggestion as part of deliberations on women in politics in parliament.
“Today, we have 275 seats in Ghana’s Parliament. We can decide that we want to add an additional 25 and dedicate it to only women and decide that, that 25 reflects the size and strength of the political parties in Parliament,” he said.
Ghana’s Parliament is still far off from the 30 percent mark set by the United Nations for women representation.
Ghana has made some marginal progress in recent times, with the 2016 election increasing the number of elected women from 30, representing 10.9 percent, in 2012, to 37, representing 13.5 percent.
In 2000, the representation of women in parliament was 9.5 percent, 10.8 percent in 2004 and 9.3 percent in 2006.
The UN has noted that, as of June 2016 only 22.8 per cent of all national parliamentarians were women, a slow increase from 11.3 per cent in 1995.
As of June 2017, only two countries had been noted to have 50 percent or more women in parliament in single or lower houses: Rwanda with 61.3 per cent, and Bolivia with 53.1 percent.
Nonetheless, a greater number of countries have reached 30 per cent or more.
The UN also notes that as of January 2017, only 18.3 per cent of government ministers were women.
The most commonly held portfolios held by women ministers are in environment, natural resources, and energy, followed by social sectors, such as social affairs, education and the family.
The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye, has commented on this issue before saying the country must adopt measures to increase the participation of women in politics.
He said affirmative action could be one of the ways to increase women participation in politics for the country to catch up with the agenda of the all-inclusive government.
Prof Oquaye noted the worldwide ranking of women participation in governance which pegged Ghana at the 143rd position out of 193 countries surveyed.