Female candidates in the Dormaa District fared badly in the just ended District Level Elections, in spite of the numerous capacity-building forums organised for them and appeals to the electorate to endorse their candidature.
Only eight out of the 22 female aspirants were given the nod, representing 16.6 per cent of the district’s 48 elected assembly members.
Mr Kwadwo Amankwah, Dormaa District Electoral Officer, who disclosed the figure to the Ghana News Agency at Dormaa Ahenkro, said though the turn out for the polls was not as high as envisaged; those who participated did so with zeal and enthusiasm.
He said many of them defied intermittent showers to cast their votes, demonstrating the importance they attached to the exercise of their civic responsibility.
Squadron Leader Benjamin Anane Asamoah (rtd), District Chief Executive, in a related interview expressed regret about the low number of female assembly members, saying it would not augur well for female representation in decision-making in the district.
He said the question of negligible female representation in local governance was so deeply rooted that it might take many years of constant education and inducement to bring them at par with their male counterparts.
Squadron Leader Asamoah acknowledged the efforts of groups and agencies that reached out to female contestants during the build-up to the polls and appealed to such groups to constantly interact with women and not to make it an occasional affair.
He said this would help to raise the self-confidence of women at all stages of human endeavour and to prepare them adequately towards annexing positions hitherto deemed to be the preserve for males.
The DCE described the low female representation in the District as a humble foundation upon which the Assembly would strategise to provide the necessary tonic towards removing the fear and lack of interest amongst women in politics.
Squadron Leader Asamoah expressed optimism that the few female assembly members would exhibit pro-activeness and efficiency in articulating matters affecting their peers to enable the Assembly to focus on women when drawing development programmes.
Mr Henry Kofi Oppong, Dormaa District Employment Co-ordinator, also deplored the abysmal female representation but gave the assurance that strategies were being considered to encourage the youth, especially females, to become part of the decision-making processes in the District.
He said efforts to provide the youth with employment without addressing their political needs would be fruitless, since gainfully-employed persons, who had no voice in matter affecting their everyday life, could not be truly independent.
Mr Pambour Karikari Prempeh, incumbent assembly member for Dome-Abuasu in Offinso polled 605 votes out of the 1,176 votes cast to retain his seat in the District Level Elections held nation-wide on September 26.
Mr Prempeh who is the Offinso District Co-ordinator of National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), was followed by Mr Jawad Abdul, a teacher with 325 votes.
Mr Abdul Karim Sadique, a clerk at Offinso Saint Patrick’s Hospital had 219 votes while Mr Yaw Bonsu Bruce, a teacher, obtained 27 votes with six rejected ballot papers.
The votes cast represented about 48 per cent of eligible voters of 2,516 registered in the electoral area.
Briefing the Ghana News Agency at Offinso after the elections, Mr Prempeh expressed concern about the low turn out at the elections and attributed it to inadequate public education by the Electoral Commission (EC).
He said he would have won more than 70 per cent of the votes if enough publicity had been given to the elections.
Mr Prempeh said he offered dedicated and selfless leadership to the residents which he noted had culminated in the provision of many social and economic programmes in the area since his eight-year tenure as assembly member.
He pledged to continue his good works to improve the living standards of the people and advised the unit committee to plan and initiate self-help programmes to enable the district assembly support them financially and materially.
Mr Prempeh expressed appreciation to the electorate for the confidence reposed in him and promised to offer quality leadership to sustain the socio-economic development of the area.