Send Affirmative Action Bill to Parliament—Coalition

The Affirmative Action Bill Coalition has appealed to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to send the bill to parliament by the end of March for fair representative of women in the upcoming elections.

According to the coalition, the bill if passed into law would go a long way to ensure the achievement of gender equality in political, social, economic, and educational spheres in society.

During a press briefing to mark this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD), the President of the Coalition, Sheila Minkah-Premo said the bill was in 2016 sent to parliament but it could not be processed.

The day is set aside to assess strides made in advancing the welfare and position of women in many areas and also creates a platform for various groups to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

Mrs Minkah-Premo said “the bill also lapsed at the end of that year when parliament finished its term; it had been worked on, the need to be sent to parliament again.”

“The bill which is yet to be laid before parliament, sets to be a great opportunity to address this rather sorry situation of inequality in our national leadership and beyond,” she said.

“We call on all women’s rights and gender activists and well-meaning Ghanaians to push for the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill to be sent to parliament and to be passed into law before the term of this parliament ends. It will ensure that women who form the majority in Ghana are well represented in key decision making positions,” she said.

Mrs Minkah-Premo said one of the spaces women face inequality in Ghana was in national decision making, adding that this was evident in the representation of women at various levels of decision making including governance, political party leadership among others.

She mentioned that women faced difficulties in getting to significant leadership roles where decisions were made in the corporate world.

“Currently, there are 37 women in Ghana’s 275 member parliament, and this represents 13.7 per cent from both the majority and minority sides, a clear short of the 30 per cent representation set by the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) 2. The UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 calls for gender parity by 2030,” she said

She said series of activities would be held to demand for the passage of the bill into law.

By Agnes OpokuSarpong

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