NGO urges passage of Affirmative Action Bill.

Affirmative Action Bill (AABILL) Coalition, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), has called on Parliament to expedite action, to ensure passage of the Affirmative Action Bill, by the end of the year.

According to the covenor of the NGO, Mrs Sheila Minkah-Premo, the passage of the bill would help create a conducive environment for women, eliminate bias and enhance the participation of women in national development.

Mrs Minkah-Premo made the call at the Intergenerational dialogue on Affirmative Action (Gender Equality) Law for Ghana, in Accra, yesterday.

The programme, was organised by Abantu for Development, also an NGO, and supported by Friedrick Ebert Stiftung (FES) Foundation.

The dialogue seeks to broaden the scope of engagement and understanding among different generations of women and men on how to speed up the process of passing the Affirmative Action Bill into law.

Mrs Minkah-Premo said research indicated that only 40 representing 14.5 per cent women were represented in Parliament out of the 275 Members of Parliament (MPs).

“The outcome of the recent elections shows that there are only 40 out of the 275 MPs in the 8th parliament making 14.5 per cent. This demonstrates that the problem persists and we urgently need legislation to turn things around,” she added.

Mrs Minkah-Premo called on civil society, media and Ghanaians at large to help push for the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill, to facilitate gender equality in governance and in private life.

Madam Kinna Likimani, a feminist, said despite the fight for the bill, “The gap between the poor and the rich is getting wider and wider and the only way we can bring the two closer is through laws so that there will be equal opportunity for everyone”.

A consultant at BST Advisory, Mrs Bernice Sam, outlined strategies needed to ensure the passage of the bill.

She stated that the Affirmative Action Bill should be simplified for the understanding of the youth, by using the forces of the youth on social media to push for it.

Mrs Sam suggested that there should be a continued sensitisation on the bill, for people to appreciate that it was not a politically-motivated bill, but a bill that seeks to improve the welfare and development of women.

Affirmative Action Bill seeks to encourage efforts towards addressing socio-cultural, political, economic, and educational gender imbalances in private and public sectors, in accordance with Clause 4 of Article 17 of the 1992 Constitution.

Its objective is to promote progressive increase and active participation of women in public and active life from a minimum of 30 per cent by 2030, in accordance with the requirements of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

BY VIVIAN ARTHUR

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