A DRAFT Affirmative Action Bill to provide for a more equitable system of representation in electoral politics and governance, will be submitted to Cabinet for approval by the end of the year.
The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection is holding consultations with stakeholders to fine-tune and conclude the bill, the sector Minister, Nana Oye Lithur, said.
Addressing a colloquium to commemorate the United Nations /African Union Public Service Day in Accra yesterday, Nana Lithur said the ministry had also drafted a National Gender Policy for Cabinet’s approval to address gender equality, equity and empowerment of women.
The UN/AU Day has been set aside to celebrate the values and virtues of public service, as well as recognise the contributions made by the public servant to national development.
The theme for this year’s celebration is, “The role of public service in women empowerment, innovation and accessible service delivery”.
Nana Lithur said the Affirmative Action Bill when passed into law, would ensure the progressive achievement of gender equality in the political, social, economic and educational spheres of society.
“The government shall ensure that not less than 40 per cent of appointments to positions of authority and decision making in the body politic, consist of women,” Nana Lithur said.
“The 40 per cent quota for the recruitment of women also applies in the security service, including the Police, Prison, Fire, Custom Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, the Immigration and the Bureau of Nation Investigation,” the minister added.
She was of the strong conviction that the more women in public service, the less corruption in the society.
Nana Lithur said the government had shown commitment to make the public service accessible to women leaders, disclosing that currently, there were 29 per cent of women minister, 23 per cent deputy ministers, five female Chief Directors out of 27, and 55 female heads of department in the public service and eight percent of Metropolitan Municipal and District Chief Executives.
Nana Lithur said the public sector had been an avenue for women to excel because it offered training programmes that enhanced the skills and potentials of women, adding that “it is worthy of note that many women have in the recent past, occupied the highest positions in various public service organisation in the country”.
She said the government was working to improve the quality of education, especially at the basic level, because education was a prerequisite for a woman’s rise to prominence in the public service.
The Head of the Civil Service, Nana Agyekum Dwamena, said opportunities had been offered to women to have further training at the Civil Service Training School to improve their knowledge and skills for their progression to the graduate levels.
The Chairperson of the Public Service Commission, Bridget Katsriku, said empowering women and strengthening their participation in decision making, should be at the heart of economic development.
Dr. (Mrs) Entsua Mensah, Deputy Director General of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, and Dr Rose Kutin, Executive Director of Abantu for Development, made scholarly presentations.
By Salifu Abdul-Rahaman