Ghana’s electoral processes have improved – however are they inclusive? | Blogs

Ghana has taken significant steps to implement the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

The rights of people with disabilities in the country are also protected by the Disabled People Act of 2006 (Law 715) of Ghana. However, it is often observed that people with disabilities and other excluded groups are not given equal opportunities to participate in the electoral process.

In December 2020, Ghanaians went to the polls to elect a president and parliamentarian. The Ghana Federation of Disability Organizations (GFD) took the opportunity to send 150 observers to collect evidence of the inclusion of people with disabilities – which has not been possible before. Although GFD has worked for years to ensure more inclusive and accessible electoral processes, financial constraints have prevented them from monitoring the elections to the statistically significant extent necessary to convince the Electoral Commission to take remedial action.

Support came from Ghana Somubi Dwumadie, a four-year disability program in Ghana with a special focus on mental health. The program, which is funded with UK government support, is a five-member consortium of which Sightsavers is a partner. The funds provided by the program enabled the observers’ activities to be carried out on Election Day and this led to some key recommendations, including the fact that advocacy and lobbying must be regular rather than one-off activities in the years leading up to an election. that people with disabilities should be appointed electoral officials whenever possible; and that budgets should allow for the production and dissemination of accessible voting materials and information.

There are important accessibility considerations for the Electoral Commission to take into account to ensure that the rights of people with disabilities in Ghana are fully used to participate in political processes. The GFD report provides clear guidelines on what to do to meet the country’s commitments under the CRPD for electoral processes. The next election is in 2024: will we be ready?

Read the full report (Word)

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