Abantu for Development, an international women’s Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) is urging government to pass the country’s Affirmative Action Law that promotes women’s effective participation and representation in all decision-making spaces.
This was because the law presented itself as the guaranteed way to increasing women’s representation in decision making spaces such as Parliament, District Assemblies, Ministerial and Ambassadorial appointments and other areas of governance in Ghana.
The women’s organisation with support from PLAN International has therefore implemented a project dubbed, “Increasing Advocacy for the Passage of Ghana’s Affirmative Action Bill into Law” to help see to the passing of the Law.
According to a statement issued in Accra and copied to the Ghanaian Times on Tuesday, the project is aimed at “increasing education on the Affirmative Action Bill and engaging with key stakeholdersto gather support for the passage of Ghana’s Affirmative Action Bill into Law, within the shortest possible time.”
The women’s organisation said the country had been working on developing an Affirmative Action Law (AA Law) which seeks to reverse the discrimination of the marginalised groups (women) and the subsequent adverse effects on sustainable development for over seven years.
It said African governments, including Ghana, acknowledged that women’s equal participation was critical to building democracy and promoting social progress.
“This acknowledgement is evidenced by their acceptance of various protocols, conventions and legal frameworks, including the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Meanwhile, the organisation indicated that the challenge remained with the delay by leaders in the development and implementation of national plans towards achieving the goal of women’s equal representation and participation in decision making processes.
“The failure to do so and many others were the reasons behind the adoption of the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality, and the Protocol on Women’s Rights by the African Union to push countries into action,” the statement added.
Abantu for Development said the country had employed affirmative action since independence to address gender and regional imbalances in access to education, health, work and politics including an Affirmative Action Act in 1960 that brought in ten (10) women to represent the regions.
Butthe organisation said the country’s efforts had been less effective for improving women’s representation and participation in politics and public life.
“The reason being that, these measures and guidelines are centred on the existing political regime and so a change in government inadvertently means a nullification of such acts and policies,” it added.
BY TIMES REPORTER