Ghana’s New Patriotic Party (NPP) is turning to women to add civility to and regain influence in Ghanaian politics. The slightly awkward article title explains that women will only have to pay half of the normal fee to apply for parliamentary candidacy to increase their numbers within the party by encouraging participation.
The article does not mention the controversy of the GH¢ 16,000 parliamentary fee, which I think is a little over $10,000 USD. Some argue that the high fee will make it impossible for many young people of potential to participate, so the extension of this discount to women becomes controversial in its implications of the woman’s position in Ghanaian society as opposed to others who might be financially burdened. It is not made clear why or how women are more financially strained and therefore should be more motivated to get involved in the NPP. There is also allusion to but not a real explanation of problems that occurred in the last election that weakened the power of the NPP, especially in comparison to the National Democratic Party (NDC). Apparently there were not “clean campaigns devoid of inflammatory statements.” I think it is fascinating that encouraging participation of women is a remedy to political mudslinging This simple act by a political party creates space for a discussion on the financial burdens of civic engagement, motivations and potential for political leadership, and roles of gender within the group labeled as in poverty.