Women’s Participation In Local Governance In Ghana The Case of the Nadowli District of the Upper West Region
The issue of women’s participation in all spheres of life has become a major developmental concern world-wide. Many debates on the above issue have highlighted women’s marginalization in all aspects of social, economic and political life. The paper discusses the extent of women’s participation in the governance process at the local level in the Nadowli District of Ghana. The fieldwork was conducted on factors impinging on the level of women’s participation, impact of female representatives in the District Assembly and mechanisms for ensuring their active participation. A two-tier multi-stage sampling procedure involving simple random and purposive techniques was used to select area councils, communities, assemblypersons and community members as respondents. Key informant interviews with some heads of relevant decentralized agencies in the District were also carried out. The fieldwork revealed that, despite a marginal increase in female representation in the assembly, their numbers were still very low for the period 1988 to 2006. However, in spite of their low numerical strength; the study indicated that female representatives in the assembly have exhibited a positive impact on the development of their communities. The study also identified factors that relegate women to subordinate roles. Hence, measures have been suggested to enhance active involvement of women in the governance processes at the local level.