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General News of Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Source: GNA

Women calls for Affirmative Action now

Accra, Oct 6, GNA - Affirmative Action Plan advocates have called on government and other institutions to show more commitment towards the action by increasing women's participation and representation at all levels of leadership positions.

Mr Frank Bodza, Programme Officer, in-charge of Governance, Women in Law and Development in Africa (WILDAF) said the level of women's representation in higher positions was still very low and institutions that were supposed to ensure an increase were paying lip service to the action.

He was addressing journalists at a forum to solicit ideas on measures to enable the authorities act swiftly on the action in Accra on Tuesday.

Mr Bodza noted that Ghana was the first country in Africa to initiate the affirmative action in 1960, but was now trailing on the percentage of women's representation in politics. He said efforts must be made to explore women's quota systems which showed that women constituted a certain percentage of members of Parliament, assembly, committee or government.

"The quota system places the burden of recruitment not on the women but on those who control the recruitment process," he added. Ms Bernice Sam, National Programme Co-ordinator of WILDAF said affirmative action had resulted in the increase of representation of women in decision making positions in many African and Western countries.

However, the case in Ghana was not so encouraging therefore the need for all and sundry to embrace the action to help alleviate the inequalities of women representation in higher positions and decision making levels.

"The affirmative action should not hold forever, it could be discarded after a greater percentage of women representation is achieved," Ms Sam added. Ms Gifty Dzah, Member of WILDAF urged the media to help in promoting affirmative action to ensure equal representation of women at all levels.