Lay Affirmative Action Bill now–CSOs

Civil Society organisations (CSOs) with interests in gender, inclusion and social justice issues, have urged the government to present the Affirmative Action Bill to Parliament within two weeks.

They said the bill, which has been listed as one of the legislation on the agenda for session of parliament, has not been laid before parliament, which resumed sitting in June 2019 and billed to go on recess in August 2019.

“The delay in laying the bill raises concerns for CSOs, development partners and the citizenry, who have followed with keen interest over the last decade the processes towards the passage of an Affirmative Action (gender equality) Law the country,” the CSOs said in a statement.

 “Similar efforts across other African countries demonstrate how their governments have been responsible and committed to ensuring gender equality within their political spaces.

 “This was achieved by deliberate and committed affirmative actions by the state, having recognised inherent potentials of both genders, pragmatic and progressive actions were taken through laws and policies, including constitutional provisions for quotas and capacity-building for women to enter politics, today, the female-dominated Rwandan nation has attracted global attention for making giant leaps in many development indices.

“Ghana’s Affirmative Action Bill seeks to achieve what these countries have achieved, in our country, female representation in parliament is still 13.8 per cent, only 23 out of 124 ministers are women, representing just 18.55 per cent less than 10 per cent women are represented in all District Assemblies, Ghana, often touted as beacon of democracy, fades in comparison to the examples.

“The bill, if passed and implemented, will fulfill the state’s constitutional obligations as enshrined in Article 35(6) to achieve reasonable regional and gender balance in recruitment and appointment to public offices and Article 36 (6), which provides the state to afford equality of economic opportunity to the citizenry and take steps so as to ensure full integration of women into mainstream of economic development.

“The passage of the Affirmative Action bill will accelerate efforts at meeting Sustainable Development Goal 5 target of gender parity in decision making by 2030 and the African Union Gender Agenda of 50-50 representation of both men and women in decision-making.

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