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Ghana: Stalled Patterns of Women’s Parliamentary Representation

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The Palgrave Handbook of Women’s Political Rights

Part of the book series: Gender and Politics ((GAP))

Abstract

In 1960, Ghana adopted one of the first electoral gender quotas for parliament in Africa. Within a few years, however, no elections were being held and during decades of military rule, women were encouraged to organize through a state-sanctioned First Lady-led women’s movement. In seven elections since the 1992 political transition, women’s representation in parliament has remained remarkably low, barely climbing above 10%. With a first-past-the-post electoral system, the critical moment for potential women candidates for parliament is party primaries which, however, remain inconsistent and subject to manipulation. While general election voters do not discriminate against women candidates, women struggle to win party primaries or do not stand at all. The few women who are elected to parliament face many challenges though they occasionally focus legislative priorities around issues of concern to women or work with civil society to pass legislation such as the 2007 Domestic Violence Act.

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Bauer, G. (2019). Ghana: Stalled Patterns of Women’s Parliamentary Representation. In: Franceschet, S., Krook, M.L., Tan, N. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Women’s Political Rights. Gender and Politics. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-59074-9_41

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