Mrs Joyce Bawa Mogtari, a Lawyer/Presidential Aid to former President John Dramani Mahama, has urged women not to give up in the struggle for leadership roles in both the political and governance space.
She said politics was a tool for leadership upbringing and if women were given the chance, the best could be seen in them.
She advised them not to depart from hard work and be intellectually focused even as they pursued their political ambitions.
Mrs Mogtari said this at the third edition of the West Africa Young Women in Politics Forum in Accra, to sensitize them on how to enhance their growth within the political parties to contribute to the development of their respective countries.
The Gender Centre for Empowering Development (GenCED) organized the workshop on the theme: “Accelerating the growth of young women within Political Parties in West Africa,” to help participants develop their leadership skills.
Mrs Mogtari recounted how she braced the odds to attain a position in the National Democratic Congress, saying: “As women, we need to knock hard on the door, be strengthened, and make sure nothing beats our reputation….”
Ms Chikas Kumle, a Nigerian Politician, said politics was a battlefield hence the need for the young women to fight for any position they wanted to occupy.?
“Fighting for a position is not about fashion but intelligence, which should play a key role in what an individual stands for because fashion without being intelligent and smart won’t earn you respect,” she said.
“Excuses should never be part of you because in politics any excuse you give can be used against you, especially with the notion that I’m a married woman, a mother, and have to take care of my family and so on and so forth…”
Ms Kumle said women had been marginalized for a long time and there was the need to build their capacity to improve on their numbers in the political space.
Madam Esther Tawiah, the GenCED Executive Director, urged participants to be focused and be fully challenged to create spaces for themselves in the political world.
She said they must set standards and demonstrate their ability to perform any role assigned them in governance with excellence.
GenCED is a women’s rights advocacy group that aimed to help increase women’s participation in decision-making and in the governance process.
Issues discussed included effective engagement in political party activities, existing structures in political parties within the sub-region, and political growth of young women.