Expedite passage of Affirmative Action bill – Coalition

A Convenor of the Affirmative Action Bill Coalition, Ms Sheila Minka-Premo, has called on cabinet to expedite action on the Affirmative Action bill and put it before parliament for passage into law by the end of this year.

“The passing of the Affirmative Action bill into law has taken too long since the formal process for drafting of the bill started in 2011 and still not in Parliament,” she added.

She said this in her presentation on the topic “Ghana needs an Affirmative Action Law before the end of 2022”during a press conference on “increasing advocacy towards the immediate passage of Ghana’s Affirmative Action bill into law,” in Accra yesterday.

The Affirmative Action bill seeks to address aspects of social economic and educational imbalance in Ghana in accordance with Article 17(4) of the 1992 constitution.

The meeting discussed the Affirmative bill and the need to pass it into law.

The programme was organised by ABANTU for Development, a women’s group organisation with support from African Women’s Development Fund.

She said the passage of the law would address historical discrimination based on race, colour, religion, gender or national origin.

Ms Minka-Premo stated that women constituted more than 50 per cent of Ghana’s population, but accounted for only 15 per cent in public life.

She said women had been marginalised in governance, stressing that the percentage of women in Parliament was a reflection of imbalance.

She added that currently in Parliament, women were 40 out of 275, constituting 14.45 per cent.

Ms Minka-Premo appealed to Civil Society Organisations and the media to join them in the advocacy to push for the passage of the bill into law before the end of the year.

The Director of Gender at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MGCSP), Ms Faustina Acheampong, in her remarks said the bill had currently been re-submitted to cabinet for approval before submission to Parliament for its passage.

She said the ministry was working with other stakeholders to ensure the passage of the bill into law, to ensure equal representation at all levels and promote the rights of women in the country.

A representative of ABANTU for Development, Ms Grace Ampomaa Afrifa, said Affirmative Action was a temporal mechanism to remove discrimination, improve the rights of marginalised groups who had been disadvantaged.

“Ghana’s affirmative Action law seeks to remove the historical low representation of women in decision making spaces, while promoting democracy and development through effective participation of all citizens,” she added.

Ms Afrifa stated that the drafting of the Affirmative Action Bill began as far back as 2011, but had still not been passed.

She appealed to the Executive, MGCSP and Parliament to expedite action in the processes to get the Affirmative Action bill passed into law before end of the year.

BY ANITA NYARKO-YIRENKYI

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