Women groups push for passage of Affirmative Action bill into action

A member of the governing board of the National Peace Council, Mrs Magdalene Kannae, has stressed the need for stronger collaboration among key stakeholders to facilitate the immediate passage of the Affirmative Action bill into law.

She said the continuous delay in the passage of the bill into law was affecting efforts to address equal representation of women at all levels in the country.

Mrs Kannae said this in a presentation on the theme “Time to pass Ghana’s Affirmative Action Bill into law”, at an engagement with stakeholders on Ghana’s Affirmative Action Bill in Accra last Friday.

It was to discuss ways to push for the immediate passage of the Affirmative Action bill into law.

The programme was organised under the auspices of ABANTU for Development with support from the African Women Development Fund

On the theme “Increasing advocacy towards the immediate passage of Ghana’s Affirmative Action bill into law’, the engagement brought together representatives from the Ministry of Gender and Children Protection and women group organisations.

She stated that women constituted low representation in Ghana’s local and national levels, adding that Ghana’s local government system was currently below five per cent.

“Women’s representation in Parliament is 14.5 per cent, women in Ministerial appointments is below 20 per cent, women’s representation in deputy Ministerial appointments is 25.6 per cent,” she added.

She said lack of political will was one of the major challenges affecting the passage of the bill into law.

She said the objective of the law would ensure the achievement of gender equality in political, social, economic and educational spheres in society.

Mrs Kannae said government should endeavour to take measures to address the imbalance in country.

She called for an independent body which would be tasked with the responsibility of monitoring and supervising the implementation of the bill,” she added.

The Convener for the Women’s Manifesto Coalition, Mrs Hamida Harrison, called on authorities to attach urgency to the passage of bill into law.

“Delaying the passage of the Affirmative Action law raises a number of specific concerns regarding the achievement of effective social transformation in practice and in reality,” she said.

Mrs Harrison said Ghana had made commitments to international, continental and regional protocols, such as Beijing platform, Economic Communities of West African States protocols, which mandates the promotion of women in public life.

She said the immediate passage of the Affirmative Action Law as a necessary intervention required to advance the gender equality enterprise in the area of women’s rights, gender, justice and social inclusion will be in the interest of national advancement.

“We have a stake in calling for the immediate passage of the Affirmative Action Law now to ensure national cohesion by implementing agreed global mandates on social justice, human and human women’s rights,’’ she added.

BY ANITA NYARKO-YIRENKYI

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