You are here: HomeNews2020 05 27Article 962887

General News of Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Source: GNA

Time to pass Affirmative Action Bill is now - ABANTU

File photo File photo

The Volta Regional group of ABANTU for Development, an international women’s non-governmental organisation has said time to pass the Affirmative Action Bill into law is now.

The group said it saw the Bill as very important in fostering women's participation and representation in decision-making processes at all levels of national development and that its passage into law would support the enforcement of constitutional rights in the country.

A press release signed by Mama Agblatsu III, a Queen mother in Asogli State, on behalf of the group said, though we were not in normal times, the Bill was important and needed passage before the elections in December.

“We are aware that the current global COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the attention of governments, businesses, and civil society towards the implementation of various measures to curb the spread of the virus. However, in the midst of all these, the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill by our government must also be given full priority, and serious attention before the upcoming general elections,” it said.

The release added that “it is true that in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and ensuring that no one is left behind, gender equality is one of the key indicators for our socio-economic development. We can commend countries in Africa like Rwanda, among others, for having some form of affirmative action mechanisms in place to show an improvement in women’s participation and representation.”

It regretted the sorry state of inequality in Ghana’s leadership although the march for equal representation in the country started just years after independence.

“Ironically, Ghana’s journey of affirmative action started in the 1960s but the struggles by our gallant women activists and campaigners are yet to see the broad daylight. So, it is not surprising for Ghana to be ranked at 145th position in the world in terms of women’s representation in Parliament and this alone must be a wake-up call for our government to prioritise the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill into law as soon as possible," the release stated.

The group thanked the Affirmative Action Bill Coalition under the leadership of ABANTU for Development and other civil society organisations and networks for their push over the years, which brought the Affirmative Action Bill before the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection for review, then the Attorney General’s Department, and its subsequent departure to Cabinet for approval to Parliament for passage.

The Affirmative Action Bill, which has been pending for about 14 years is expected to remove unjust barriers that obstruct the pathway to the progress of women because its passage will provide legally mandated systems, structures, and policies for a 50/50 per cent representation and participation of both women and men in governance and other public positions of power.