Socialisation and women's participation in governance: Exploring important themes from Ghana
International Journal of Gender Studies in Developing Societies
School of Arts and Humanities
This paper draws from feminist literature to explore how socialisation and socio-cultural orientation in Ghana potentially influence women's participation in governance. The paper aims to broaden the gender literature by exploring vital underlying themes within the socialisation processes and how they constrain women's participation in governance. Besides, the paper discusses the influence of gender mainstreaming on women's participation in governance. The following themes: 1) cultural orientation; 2) patriarchal system; 3) family system structured on women as dependents; 4) religious belief systems; 5) class system; 6) customary regulatory systems, are highlighted to be nurturing socialisation processes of women and influencing their low representation in governance in Ghana. This paper argues that gender mainstreaming addresses the socialisation processes, and promotes women's participation in governance. It suggests that the implications for women's empowerment are through affirmative action, which facilitate the deconstruction of gender relations to enable more women to participate in governance in the Ghanaian society.