Ensuring representation: Exploring the disparities between women's lived experience and claims of inclusive civic participation at the local government level

Authors: Eunice Annan-Aggrey*, University of Western Ontario, Merlin Chatwin, University of Western Ontario
Topics: Women, Africa
Keywords: Lived experience, Civic engagement, Local government, Women, Ghana
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/11/2021
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM
Room: Virtual 25
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Fair, accountable and transparent local government-administered taxation systems are critical for increasing national budgets and for strengthening democracies. Beyond periodic elections, a strong democracy includes a tacit and written agreement between government and residents about the collection and spending of public revenue (Brautigam, 2008). In Ghana, as in many countries across Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), public revenue collection and expenditure agreements are tenuous, particularly at the local government level where civic engagement on target setting and revenue collection are limited. Thus, strengthening civic engagement in fiscal decentralization efforts are increasingly important, particularly in Ghana, where local assemblies have growing responsibilities for budgeting and expenditures, but insufficient transfers or tax revenue. This paper examines the perceptions and lived experiences of women’s varied engagement with local government and tax administration system, including those working within and outside local administration (engaging through civic engagement). This lived experience is compared and contrasted with the documented policy and procedure at the national and local levels to demonstrate the importance of engaging women in efforts to understand the efficacy of local government outreach efforts.

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