Ofei-Aboagye, E. 2000. Promoting the Participation of Women in Local Governance and Development: The Case of Ghana (ECDPM Discussion Paper 18). Maastricht: ECDPM.
This paper was prepared for a Seminar on “European Support for Democratic Decentralisation and Municipal Development – A Contribution to Local Development and Poverty Reduction,” held in Maastricht, 14-15 June 2000. The seminar was organised by ECDPM and the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The framework for European development cooperation is quickly evolving. In the context of democratisation, liberalisation and state reform, many African governments have launched a new generation of decentralisation programmes.
This new wave of democratic decentralisation will have a direct impact on external assistance that aims to promote development and poverty reduction at the local level. European donors and their partners need to develop new instruments and modes of assistance that can facilitate institutional change and pursue these objectives in a context of transition.
This paper is a contribution to the dialogue on new modes of ACP-EU development cooperation. It was presented at an informal expert seminar on European support to decentralisation and municipal development, organised by ECDPM and the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 14-15 June, 2000. The seminar was an opportunity for a structured exchange of experiences on new instruments and modalities of support to decentralisation and municipal development and in particular their relevance for poverty reduction and local development.
In this paper, Esther Ofei-Aboagye, director of the Ghana-based Institute for Local Government Studies (ILGS), focuses on the gender dimension of decentralisation. As the debate at the seminar showed, European donors are giving increasing priority to this dimension and related operational challenges. Based on her expertise as a gender specialist and her experiences in collaborating with different European donors, Mrs. Ofei-Aboagye, identifies a number of concrete options for European support to make a contribution to promoting women’s participation in local governance.