ABANTU for Development has reiterated the need for the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, as well as Parliament, to expedite all processes in order to approve the Affirmative Action Bill (AAB) before the end of 2022.
The purpose of the Affirmative Action Bill is to enact a law to address aspects of social, economic, and educational imbalance in Ghana in accordance with Article 17(4) of the 1992 Constitution.
Women have been marginalised in governance. The percentage of women in Parliament is a reflection of the imbalance.
These remarks were contained in a presentation delivered by the Convenor of Affirmative Action Bill Coalition Madam Sheila Minkah -Premo at a press conference themed: “Ghana needs an Affirmative Action Law before the end of 2022”.
“Women’s representation in all policy-making spaces in Ghana stands below the United Nations (UN) threshold of 30%.
Currently, women’s representation in the Legislature (Parliament), stands at 14.5%, while in the District Assembly System, below 5%.
The situation is no different in the government’s ministerial, ambassadorial, and board appointments.
The persistent low representation of women in these key decision-making spaces makes it near impossible for women’s effective contribution to Ghana’s development.
These extremely low figures are in spite of the fact that Ghana has signed on to various international protocols and conventions, pledging to ensure 30 to 40% representation of women,” she explained.
According to the Convenor, several African countries have achieved gender equality in governance especially with regard to the increase in the numbers of women in Parliament by affirmative action laws.
This includes countries like Rwanda, South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia, and recently Guinea Conakry.
This she said, Ghana that sets the pace on many critical issues has been left behind and we need the law in place before the close of 2022 to redeem our place in the community of nations.
The processing of the Affirmative Action law into law has taken too long in its passage into law.
Since the formal process for the drafting of the Bill started in 2011, it is still not in Parliament. Ghana has failed to ensure gender equality in public life despite its international and national obligation to do so.
We have failed to meet the target in many international instruments and will fail to meet other key gender equality targets, especially SDG 5 if we do not see the passage of the Bill into Parliament by the end of 2022.
Stressing that, the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill into Law will not only inure to women but to all Ghanaians.
The passage of the Bill has potential benefits for national and responsive development with inclusiveness as a hallmark where national human resources would be optimized.
“The Bill will provide an accountability framework for gender equality and women’s empowerment, aimed at providing both the executive and legislature a yardstick for measuring the country’s commitment and progress towards gender equality.
The Bill will further rectify gender-based inequalities by redressing social, economic, and political gender imbalances, which results in the feminization of poverty and women’s low economic status in the country.
The Bill seeks to promote prioritization of gender parity in secondary and tertiary education, adolescent and maternal nutrition, family planning, and reproductive health,” she emphasized.
She, therefore, entreated the Speaker and Members of Parliament to process the Bill swiftly when it gets to Parliament.
The press conference organised by Abantu For Development with funding from the African Women’s Development Fund.
Source: Isaac Kofi DZOKPO/newsghana.com.gh