Expedite legislation to involve women actively in political decision processes

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Women in Law and Development Africa, (WiLDAF), has called on government to hasten the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill, to allow women to play active roles in political decision-making processes.

The Bill, when passed, would call for equal representation to reflect society?s commitment to women and gender issues nationally and internationally.

Mr Frank Bodza, Programme Manager in charge of Governance, speaking at a press briefing in Accra, said the promotion and active participation of women in public and political lives, by providing for a more equitable system of representation in electoral politics and governance, was an important sector which should not be delayed any further.

He said the challenge of Parliament having not passed the Bill into Law, has made gender equality at the work place, equal opportunities, and the welfare of persons with disabilities, a major problem that citizens have to contend with in the country.

Mr Bodza noted that the empowerment of girls and boys through planned and coordinated skills development and training programmes through balanced representation of both men and women on public boards, commissions, and trust, was what the Bill sought to do for Ghana, to reach 100 per cent of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

He added that this would inform government?s decision to encourage political parties, to ensure gender balance in their executive leaderships, as well as measures to enable opportunities for women to contest parliamentary and presidential primaries to help move the country forward.

He said the Constitution Review Commission and the Government White Paper on recommendations, support the need for an Affirmative Action Bill, after the amendment of the Constitution, adding, this indicates that the Bill is an essential item that needs to be passed without hesitation.

Mr Bodza, therefore, called on government to make sure the Bill is passed, and it works effectively.

The Programme Manager emphasized the need to support the education and training of girls and women and public education on affirmative action, reiterating that though Ghana is far advanced, it is lucking in this aspect of the country.

He said gender equality is one of the issues discussed on the floor of Parliament and other platforms, but the implementation of the Affirmative Action Bill is a problem the country is battling with to meet the demand for democracy.

Mr Bodza, however, called on the President, as a matter of urgency, to approve the Bill when submitted, for it is one problem that is affecting economic growth in the country.

He again appealed to the media to sensitize the people on the Bill, so that they can have a fair understanding of their rights, and not be discriminated against.

The Affirmative Action refers to equal opportunity in employment measures that the democratic states are legally required to adopt, to prevent discrimination against employees or applicants for employment, on the basis of color, religion, sex or national origin, as well as enhance women participation in the decision-making process.
GNA

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