Mr Stephen Opoku-Mensah, the Regional Director of the Electoral Commission (EC), has said there is the need to change societal notions that hinder the participation of women in political processes.

He said out of the eight female parliamentary candidates, three are contesting on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), three from the Convention People's Party (CPP), one each from the Progressive People's Party (PPP) and People's National Convention (PNC).

Mr Opoku-Mensah said this at a day's sensitization workshop for female parliamentary candidates in the Region.

He expressed his disappointment with the drop of female candidates' participation in this year's elections from 12 in 2012 to eight and attributed the situation to the nature of politics in the country.

Mr Opoku-Mensah said the low participation of women could be attributed to the insults and indecent manners in the political arena, socio-economic issues challenges, as well as cultural inhibitions in the society.

The event formed part of the EC and European Union collaboration to strengthen the country's democratic process and enhance the interest of female candidates in the elections.

Madam Catherine Abelema Afeku, an NPP parliamentary candidate for Evalue-Gwira-Ajomoro, corroborated with the Regional EC boss' assertions that females went through a lot of societal barriers and name calling when contesting in elections.

'Female candidates go through a lot of psychological trauma and insults from their opponents and society in general and unless you overcome these challenges, politics will always be a difficult arena for women to compete in', she said.

Madam Afeku, who was a former Member of Parliament for the area, said female candidates also experienced financial difficulties and unless they receive support from their spouses and family members, it would be difficult to compete favourably with their male counterparts.

She said there is the need to the Female Affirmation Action Law real like what pertains in Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and other developed democracies so that females would be given slots in Parliament.

Madam Martha Kwayie Manu, a parliamentary candidate in Juabeso, said in spite of the intimations and threats from her political opponent she was not perturbed and would wrestle the seat from the incumbent NDC MP for the area, Mr Kwabena Mintah Akando.

'The Juabeso Seat has been occupied by a male parliamentarian since the country returned to constitutional rule in 1992, therefore, I want to break the jinx and be the first female parliamentarian there so that I can empower women in the constituency', she said.

In all, there are 108 parliamentary candidates contesting in the 26 constituencies in the Region in the December 7 polls comprising eight females and 100 males.

GNA