Members of Parliament (MPs) yesterday joined the rest of the world to mark this year’s International Women’s Day.
The day is celebrated annually on March 8, to commemorate the cultural, political, and socio-economic achievements of women and a focal point in the women’s rights movement.
It is also to bring attention to issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights, violence and abuse against women.
Under the campaign theme— #BreakTheBias —the commemoration on the theme “Gender Equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, spotlights the individual and collective biases against women that fuel gender inequality.
In a statement on the floor, the First Deputy Majority Whip and NPP MP for Ayawaso West Wuogon, Lydia Seyram Alhassan, said though Ghana had made stride in women development over the years, more would have to be done if gender inequality was to be overcome.
She called for the legislations to eliminate factors that promote inequalityadding,“Parliament must pass laws that eliminate cultural and institutional barriers that contribute to the widening of gender inequality gap”.
Commenting on the statement, the NDC MP for Techiman North, Elizabeth Ofosu Agyare, urged the government to bring back the Affirmative Action Bill (AAB) to the House for passage.
“I want the eighth Parliament to be remembered one day for the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill. I pray that the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection will bring the bill back to Parliament for passage.
“Mr Speaker it is critical the AAB is passed because if it is done, a lot more women will get the opportunity to be members of Parliament, Ministers of State, and also participate in decision making,” she said.
The NPP MP for Weija/Gbawe and a Deputy Minister of Health, Tina Mensah, said gender bias against women existed not only in moral and socio-political areas but in the economic space as well.
She said: “If women who account for more than half of the world population are not given the opportunity to achieve their full economic potential, the global economy was bound to suffer.”
According to Ms Mensah the saying that “when women rise, men fall is not true because women have a critical role to play in the life of every family.”
“Woman are compliments to men and not competitors so if you [men] help women to rise, it would curtail the pressure on you,” she said.
Ibrahima Mohammed Zuweira, the Salaga South MP, said in as much as it was important celebrating women who were blazing the trail, those who raised the accomplished women must be recognised.
In her view, these women have given so much to their nation, but have received little, and added that “we” owe it a duty to ensure that the systems and structures were instituted to support women.
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI