By Patience Gbeze, GNA
Accra, Aug. 13,
GNA – Civil Society Organisations Cluster on Decentralisation and Citizens’
Participation has called on the Minister for Gender, Children and Social
Protection to lay the Affirmative Action Bill before Parliament as soon as it
resumes from recess.
It also called
the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo to use his position as the African
Union Gender Champion and Co-Chair of the Sustainable Development Goals to
double his efforts towards achieving the set targets by passing the Affirmative
“We have had
promises, assurances, pronouncements and proclamations made in election year
after election year with very little action taken to address the systemic
inequalities that prevent women being part of the decision-making processes,”
Ms Efua Edith Chidi, the Co-Convener, CSOs Cluster on Decentralisation and
speaking at a media briefing organised by the group to express their
displeasure about the inactions of government to facilitate the passage of the
Affirmative Action Bill for the past 13 years.
She said the
Bill when passed would accelerate Ghana’s 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.
representation in public service, independent constitutional bodies, boards of
state institutions and political parties will be greatly enhanced. This will
require our government to ensure gender representation at all levels of
governance and decision–making and as well address social and economic gaps or
“We want to
remind government that 1992 Constitution provides the basis for affirmative
action law; Article 17, clause 4a states that ‘Nothing in this Article shall
prevent Parliament from enacting laws that are reasonably necessary to provide
for the implementation of policies and programmes aimed at redressing civil and
political, cultural, social, econo0mic and educational imbalance in the
Ms Chidi said
they were extremely worried that the Affirmative Action Bill which was listed
as one of the bills on the agenda for the past session of Parliament did not
see the light of the day since it was not laid before Parliament went on recess
She said three
weeks ago, they issued a statement calling on the Minister of Gender to do the
necessary due diligence and present the bill to Parliament again but nothing
She said many
African countries such as Rwanda, Uganda, Malawi and Guinea Bissau who started
the Affirmative Action journey later than Ghana have passed the bill and
started implementing with impressive progress.
“In June this
year, Guinea Bissau passed their Gender Equality Law and subsequently appointed
50 per cent women and 50 per cent men to cabinet positions. Other African
countries have demonstrated how their governments have been committed to
ensuring gender equality within their political space”.
Ms Chidi said
after over a decade of action and efforts by the responsible Ministry and other
stakeholders, it is quite disappointing that the Bill has never been laid in
Parliament, adding that Ghana has the required technical and resource capacity
to have concluded, passed and implemented the Bill.
She called on
government to prioritise the Affirmative Action Bill so that they country would
not lose out from the expected benefits of the Bill.
She said the
group would embark on a walk on August 30 in Accra and September 7 in Tamale to
press further their demands and draw attention of the public and the government
to accelerate the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill and called for media
support to achieve that goal.
committed to Affirmative Action by signing and endorsing many conventions
including the Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against
Women (CEDAW), Beijing Platform for Action, the SDGs and the Commonwealth Plan
of Action on Gender Equality which set a minimum target of 30 per cent of women
in decision making position by 2015, among others.
Agbenyadzi, the Gender Equality Social Inclusion Manager, Star Ghana
Foundation, said Affirmative action includes measures that support leveling the
playing field for individuals or groups to participate in decision-making
process and called for consented efforts to ensure that there is inclusion in
all aspect of governance.
that it is on the issue of power, but we also understand that it benefits all
and if one segment of the population is left behind, then we are missing out in
the discourse,” she said.
Mr Frank Wilson
Bodza, the Programme Manager for Governance – Women in Law and Development in
Africa (WILDAF Ghana), said public interest laws have become a mantra for
political parties in Ghana and called on all to join the campaign to facilitate
the passage of the Bill.