The Lived Experiences of Women in Ghana’s 7th Parliament

Saturday, 21 July 2018: 08:30
Oral Presentation
Sylvia GYAN, University of Ghana, Ghana
Dan-Bright DZORGBO, University of Ghana, Ghana
Globally, women’s participation and representation in governance has increased over the last decades. However, the statistics are not the same across the world, whereas some countries have witnessed an increase in women’s participation and representation in politics, others are either experiencing stagnation or no change. The differences can be attributed to several factors such as the political, social and religious environment women find themselves. In Ghana, many analysts and social commentators have suggested that women’s participation and representation in governance have stalled, although the results of the 2016 Presidential and Parliamentary elections have seen a slight increase in the number of women elected as parliamentarians. This paper seeks to explore the lived experiences of some female Ghanaian legislators in Ghana’s 7th Parliament to shed light on the political, social and religious factors they had to overcome to ‘make’ it to parliament. To achieve this, 12 in-depth interviews were conducted with female parliamentarians. In addition, content analysis of media reports from one national electronic media and two print media are analyzed. The findings of this paper have the potential to influence policy makers and other stakeholders to identify the struggles and resistance women go through to become representative in governance.