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Press Releases of Thursday, 9 February 2017

Source: Benjamin Tawiah

ActionAid urges His Excellency President Akufo-Addo to appoint more women in Government

Press Statement

08 February, 2017: Last month, His Excellency, the President, completed the list of ministerial appointments with the announcement of 10 regional ministers, bringing the total to 46. There have been other significant appointments to some strategic public institutions to enable the new government assemble a competent team to prosecute its development and economic transformation agenda.
While we commend the urgency and resourcefulness of the new administration in appointing some quality talents to important political roles, we wish the appointments had reflected some considerations of gender parity, to ensure a fair female representation of women at the highest levels of political decision making.

Head of Policy and Programmes and Deputy Country Director of ActionAid Ghana, Saani Mohammed Yakubu, says:
“We were expecting to see more women appointments to ensure some gender parity. As a social justice organization working towards gender equality and women empowerment, our advocacy has targeted the negative manifestations of patriarchy and social inequalities in our communities.”

“We have found that low representation of women in social and political decision making structures is largely the result of our patriarchal system, which tends to disfavor and discourage women while promoting the interests of men,” Saani Yakubu adds.

With the nomination of only nine (9) women out of 46, representing about 20%, civil society and women rights movements have expressed some concern about the low female representation, despite years of vigorous campaigns about the need to include women in our politics and governance systems.
As women already underrepresented in Parliament (37 out of 275) and in many other public decision-making places, it is imperative that we pursue affirmative and deliberate policies to improve female participation by appointing more capable women to public office. This will ensure that the interests of women, who make up more than 51% of the population, are advocated and promoted from a feminine perspective.
Margaret Brew-Ward, Campaigns and Advocacy Manager of ActionAid Ghana, says”
“So far, the percentage of women in the current appointments falls short of the NPP’s campaign promise to give at least 30% of positions to women. With deputy ministers, district chief executives and heads of some key institutions yet to be named, we hope to see more women in the government. Promoting the cause of women is good for affirmative action, human development and economic prosperity.”
We, therefore, urge the President and the new administration to make affirmative action an important plank of its governance vision and pursue strategic policies to advance the political influence of women in Ghana.

We also call on the new government to promote women’s social and economic development by prioritising gender responsive services, which will reduce women’s unpaid care work to enable more women participate in local and national politics.
We congratulate Frema Osei-Opare, the first female Chief of Staff of the Republic of Ghana, all female ministerial nominees and the new women elected to serve in the Seventh Parliament of the Fourth Republic.

Editor’s Note

For 26 years, ActionAid Ghana has been involved in the promotion of women development initiatives through our partnerships with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Development, feminist movements, traditional authorities and local partners. Some of the gender-responsive policies and initiatives we have supported include the Women’s Manifesto, the Domestic Violence Act and the Legislative Instrument, Affirmative Action Bill, Social protection policies and many other interventions.

ActionAid is a global justice organisation working to achieve social justice, gender equality and poverty eradication. We work in the most deprived and marginalised communities in Ghana, empowering economically and socially disadvantaged people, especially women and children, to access their basic human rights to food security, education and economic empowerment.
Our vision is a just, equitable and sustainable world in which every person can enjoy their right to a life of dignity, freedom from poverty and all forms of oppression.

For media interviews and more information:

1. Benjamin Tawiah, Communications and PR Manager
2. Margaret Brew-Ward, Advocacy and Campaigns Manager