African women’s development fund and ABANTU development has urged parliament to pass the affirmative action bill to secure a legal mechanism for the best gender equality outcomes for all citizens in public.
The Affirmative Action Bill, which has suffered a number of setbacks for about 10 years now, was supposed to increase the participation of women in decision making and provides for a 40 per cent representation and participation of women in governance, public positions of power and decision making.
The Programmes Officer, ABANTU for Development, Madam Grace Ampoma Afrifa expressed concern over the failure to meet the UN-recommended threshold of 30 percent women’s representation in the District Assemblies, 68 years after the affirmative action measure of the 1960s.
According to her, if 30% is being given to women in the country to serve in other public and private institutions then there is a great way to improve the development of the country.
Madam Grace Ampoma recalled an Affirmative Action Act of 1960 which allowed 10 women members unopposed to represent the regions of Ghana in the then Legislature recognizing that women’s participation was a critical component of democratic dialogue and social cohesion and they hope by August this year the bill will be a pass.
Ms Hamida Harrison, Programmes Manager, ABANTU for Development― a gender and policy advocacy Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)― and Convener of the Women’s Manifesto Coalition (WMC), in her address called for Affirmative Action to increase women’s representation in Parliament had been made 15 years ago in a document called the Women’s Manifesto.
Ms Harrison said despite promises, assurances, pronouncements and proclamations in an election year after elections, very little action is taken to address the systemic inequalities that prevent women from being part of the decision-making processes.
The sensitization forum, organized by ABANTU for Development, with support from the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF), formed part of efforts to implement a project dubbed: Strengthening Advocacy for the Passage of the Affirmative Action Bill into Law in Ghana, whose ultimate goal is to secure a legal mechanism for the best gender equality outcomes for all citizens in public life.
The project aims at developing and implementing a nationwide affirmative action campaign strategy in order to strengthen advocacy initiatives for the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill into Law.