Affirmative Action Bill To Accelerate Ghana’s Economic Growth

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AABill Coalition
AABill Coalition

Affirmative Action Bill Coalition has re-echoed the need for Ghana as a country to swiftly pass the Affirmative Action Bill (AABill) into law.

Stressing that, when the Bill is fully passed into law, it would help to promote a progressive increase and active participation of women in public life from a minimum of 30 per cent to parity of 50 per cent by 2030 in line with the requirements of the Sustainable development Goals (SDGs).

More so, the Bill will provide an accountability framework for gender equality and empowerment of women aimed at providing both the executive and legislative yardstick the commitment and progress of the country towards achieving gender equality.

A Steering Committee Member of the AA Bill Coalition, Dr Charity Binka, made these salient remarks at a sensitization workshop organised for Journalists in Accra.

According to Dr Charity Binka, the workshop was aimed at training journalists on the need for an Affirmative Action (Gender Equality) law for Ghana in order to help push the agenda.

Adding that, the media has a critical role to play in promoting the AA Bill. Since the media always engage MPs, other policymakers, traditional rulers, opinion leaders, identifiable groups on the AA Bill.

Explaining that, the media can promote the AA Bill through news coverage of the debate on the AA Bill and also by coming out with special documentaries on gender equality issues.

This she said, journalists can equally promote the AA Bill through special media programmes on special days such as International Women’s Day and other gender-related activities.

The Convener of the AA Bill Coalition Madam Sheila Minkah-Premo noted that country was far behind in achieving gender equality with regard to governance and leadership in other public and private spheres.

Hence there was the need for the media to help make gender inequality an urgent issue that must be addressed by the Government.

According to her, the need for gender equality started when Ghana attained a Republican status in 1960 with the passage of an Affirmative Action Act – Peoples’ Representation Act, which recognised that women’s political participation was a critical component of democratic dialogue and social cohesion.

Stressing that, there was enough justification for Parliament to pass the Bill as recommended by the Constitution Review Commission in its White Paper and the number of commitments governments had made over the years in compliance with international obligations.

The government has been supported to draft versions of this bill from 2011 to date, but it has not been possible to enact any of the draft Bills into law to date.

The efforts of various Civil Society Organisation (CSOs) resulted in the formation of the AA Bill Coalition in September 2019 to enable CSOs interested in seeing an AA Law passed to work together to achieve this objective. It set a goal to see the AA Bill passed into law by 2020, but this was not realised.

However, due to the importance of the law, there is the need to re-strategise to see the enactment of an AA Law becoming a reality.

A Steering Committee Member of the AA Bill Coalition, Mrs Hamida Harrison, noted that elections were not going to be the panacea for rectifying the low representation of women in the national development process.

This she said, the outcome of Ghana’s 2020 elections showed that only 40 women managed to get into the 275-member Parliament, a situation which demonstrated the persistence of gender inequality in Ghana.

According to her, the Coalition will be working closely with journalists in their endeavour to ensure the early passage of the AA Bill.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the AfCHuRSD, Madam Bernice Naah, also underscored the need for equal opportunity to be given to ​women who are capable and competent in supporting the governance of the country.

​Basically, we want an equal space to be created for all and sundry to enable them to take leadership positions to enable them to contribute effectively to the economic growth of the country.

Adding that their main objective is to support Coalitions that are already working on the Affirmative Action Bill to ensure its passage.

The workshop is being organised with support from the Netherlands Embassy through the Equal Rights and Opportunities for Women Project (EROP) being implemented by the Ghana SRHR Alliance for Young People, Women in Need and African Centre for Human Rights and Sustainable Development.

Source: Isaac Kofi Dzokpo/newsghana.com.gh

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