The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has said that political parties in Africa need to support women candidates because their financial limitations represent a substantial obstacle to them making a contribution in the governance of their countries. Kadaga was closing a four day Commonwealth Women Parliamentary Conference (Africa Region) in Dar-es-Salam, Tanzania. Kadaga said Women have the confidence to run for public office, have good public speaking skills and can mobilize the support of local groups but their only setback is inadequate financial strength.
A Member of Parliament from Ghana, Laddi Ayii Ayambo, restated that it is critical to fund and help women in political parties because when women remain under-represented in the political arena, women’s expertise and perspectives on policy agendas is underutilized. The Chairperson Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Lindiwe Maseko, explained that increased presence of women in political offices helps parties to compete more effectively and thereby drawing attention to important policy issues that have previously been overlooked.
The meeting resolved that it is important to encourage all political actors to promote equal participation of women and men in political parties, with a view to achieving better gender-balanced representation in elected public offices at all levels of decision-making.
In a related event, Kadaga advocated for the recognition and celebration of the achievements of women who took part in the liberation struggles across Africa and in the Commonwealth. She explained that their efforts have had an impact on the social, political, academic and entrepreneurial spheres of countries. She said that women should be acknowledged in involving in struggles before and after independence which fought against Gender –based injustices
The Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians applauded speaker Kadaga for her activism and resolved to celebrate the lives and works of dynamic and inspiring women world over.