Minister wants more women in public office

Nana Oye Lithur

Nana Oye Lithur

The Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur, has expressed concern about the low representation of women in public service.

She said there was less than 11per cent of women in parliament which did not augur well for decision-making process.

She, therefore, called for the Affirmative Action Bill to be passed into law to ensure women in decision in public service to help address gender imbalance in the country.

The minister said this at a meeting with National Working Committee for final drafting of Affirmative Action legislation in Accra.

The bill seeks to rectify discrimination on the basis of sex addressing social, economic and educational gender imbalance in the country.

It also aims at promoting the full active participation of women in public life by providing for a more equitable system of representation in electoral politics and governance in accordance with Ghana’s international and obligations and national development aspirations.

The committee members present were made up of parliamentarians, representatives from the political parties, civil society academia, consultants, legal practitioners, private sector and professionals from the Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

Mrs. Lithur said when the bill was passed into law, it would carefully identify and effectively redress areas of social, cultural, economic and educational imbalance and ensure gender equality in Ghana.

“The law will rectify historical wrongs by mandating that certain opportunities be made available to those distinguished by gender, minority or under-represented status,” she said.

Mrs. Lithur said her ministry had been able to submit a draft bill to the Attorney General’s Department for review.

She said the draft bill from the AG’s Department went through extensive and participatory validation processes with stakeholders from civil society organisation, Parliamentary Select Committee on Gender, Children and Social Protection.

“A final draft was released from the Attorney General’s office on August 24, this year ready for submission to Cabinet for approval,” she said

Ms Hillary Gbedemah, a gender advocate in her presentation said the bill would deal with the principles of genders equality and ensure progressive achievement of gender equality in political, social, economic, cultural and educational sectors.

She said the bill would address the imbalance in the public and private sector to address gender differences.

By Anita Nyarko

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