In the upcoming District Level Election (DLE) across all 14 districts of the Western Region, a total of 64 women have stepped forward as candidates, constituting a mere 5.3% of the total 1,198 candidates vying for positions.
This gender disparity, particularly in local governance, underscores sluggish progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on Gender Equality.
For the unit committee elections, 382 women, making up 11.2%, are in the race alongside 3,018 men.
Mr. Lan Kwame Tugbenu, the Deputy Western Regional Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), emphasized the importance of men supporting women in taking up higher offices to contribute to national development.
Goal Five of the SDGs highlights that gender equality is not just a fundamental human right but also essential for a peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable world.
While progress has been made over the last decades, achieving gender equality by 2030 remains a challenge.
Mr. Tugbenu noted that the NCCE has been actively engaging in educational efforts to underscore the importance of women's participation in all aspects of society, expressing hope that these goals will be realized soon.
In addition to gender concerns, Mr Tugbenu acknowledged citizen apprehension regarding voting days, especially for the 2024 general election, coinciding with the Sabbath.
This timing may pose challenges for certain religious sects, potentially hindering their participation in the electoral process.
Advocating for a specific day, whether a holiday or not, to enable all citizens to exercise their right to vote, Mr Tugbenu stressed the importance of voters bringing their voter identification cards to the polling stations on Tuesday, December 19, from 0700 to 1700 hours.