Civil Society Organisations Cluster on Decentralization and Citizen’s Participation have expressed displeasure about government’s ability to pass Affirmative Action Bill[AAB] into law which has suffered a number of setbacks for about 14 years now.

According to them, the Affirmative Action Bill has been repeatedly listed as one of the Bills on the Agenda of Parliament but has never been laid.

The Co-Convener, for the CSO Cluster on Decentralization and Citizens’ Participation, Efua Edith Chidi, made this remark during a peaceful walk which was held in Accra, amidst brass band display by women.

Stressing that, the President His Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo being the African Union Gender champion and co- chair of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which demands State Parties to achieve gender parity in representation in public and political life by 2030 should see to the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill into Act before he ends his tenure in office.

She further recalled the President giving unqualified assurance to Ghanaians in his first state of the Nation Address in February 2017 to pass the Affirmative Action Bill in his first year of the four-year mandate.

The CSOs’ Cluster on Decentralization and Citizen’s Participation used, therefore, reminded the President to fulfill his assurance by passing the Affirmative Action Bill within a year in Office though that timeline has long been missed.

Again, the group is of the view that the President of Ghana being the African Union Gender Champion and Co-Chair of the SDGs should double his efforts and demonstrate increased commitment towards achieving these targets by influencing the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill into Act before the end of his four-year tenure.

According to her, the absence of the Act has weakened the implementation of the gender equality policies thereby perpetuating gender inequalities in Ghana’s political, social and economic processes with one voice.

This she said, these laws can only be useful if an Affirmative Action Law is passed and implemented to create an environment which is gender inclusive gender responsive.

Stressing that, their actions are backed by the 1992 constitution particularly Article 17 which states that all persons are equal before the law and all other supporting legislation and policies that speak to and are committed to achieving gender equality.

Civil Society Organisations Cluster on Decentralization and Citizen’s Participation also challenged the Parliament under the leadership of the Speaker to prioritize the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill in this seventh Parliament of the fourth republic.

The discussion for the Affirmative Action Bill (AAB) for Ghana was initiated in 2006. At the time, it was agreed that such Bill was needed to fill the gaps created by gender imbalance in Ghana’s political, economic and social spaces.

Considering the discussion was received with unanimous agreement, it has become surprising and disappointing that 13years on, the bill not seen the light of the day.

Source: Isaac Kofi Dzokpo/newsghana.com.gh

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