Women and Political Participation: A Comparative Study of Ghana and India

117 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2021

Date Written: January 17, 2021

Abstract

Modern democratic principles established by the conception of political influence is deeply rooted in the supreme will of people. As a result, any democratic process should seek the promotion, inclusion and participation of all citizens. Women are universally accepted and accorded equal status as a citizen, just like men; therefore, they should have an equal share in all areas of decision-making in any country. However, statistics available points to the fact that women political participation is marginal compared to men. This situation also pertains in Ghana and India; it is, therefore, in this regard, the research seeks to understand the state of concern for women’s political participation in these countries. The key objectives of the study were to examine the level of political participation, and the significant role played by women in politics and explore the obstacles on the path of women political participation in Ghana and India. Both quantitative and qualitative method adopted to analyze the secondary source data obtained from Inter-Parliamentary Union, government and electoral Commission’s websites of Ghana and India and other relevant sources. The study revealed that women were active in politics before and played an immense role in the attainment of Independence of Ghana and India. Significantly their involvement after independence has impacted the social, economic and political independence of both countries. On the obstacles to women political participation, the study revealed that women face oppression, especially in terms of political marginalization emanating from cultural, political, economical, low educational attainment, family restrictions. Also, the inability of women to mobilize enough resources needed to compete with men in any political contests possess a significant challenge in achieving gender parity in Ghana and India. The research concludes that women in Ghana and India lag in parliamentary representation, leadership positions and appointment to other high profile political positions. Considering their contribution to the progress of families and communities, they must have equal influence in decision-making and significant shareholders who meaningfully contributes to development. The researcher recommends that the state and political parties should adopt and implement affirmative action policy, the formation of female political parties. Also, there should be a mass boycott of women from national and other relevant elections to mount pressure on policymakers to take serious steps towards women political participation. Women activists and the media should partner in embarking projects that will address women issues such as reproductive health issues, political and sexual violence as well as poverty that cripples majority of women in Ghana and India.

Keywords: Empowerment, Gender Equality and Political Participation

JEL Classification: Y40

Suggested Citation

Opoku, Prince, Women and Political Participation: A Comparative Study of Ghana and India (January 17, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3768023 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3768023

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