The Majority and Minority in Parliament have been urged to ensure consensus towards the passage of the Affirmative Action bill (AA) into law by the end of the year.
According to the Convener of the Affirmative Action Bill Coalition, Mrs Shelia Minka-Premo, this would ensure that Ghana has better scores in the Inter Parliamentary Union ratings.
“Having an AA law in place was one of the guaranteed ways of achieving women’s increased participation in 2023 local Government elections.
She made the appeal at a press conference in Accra yesterday on the theme: ‘The necessity of an Affirmative Action Law in Enhancing Women’s Participation in Election 2023.’
The meeting organised by Abantu for Development with funding from the African Women Development Fund was graced by women group organisations, aspiring female assembly women and Civil Society Organisations.
She said 34 years after the establishment of the decentralisation system, women continued to deal with inequality due to the cultural stereotypes and marginalisation.
“Within the 34 years, the highest number of women contestants and winners came in 2006 when 1,772 women contested and 478 were elected out of 4,732 electoral areas,” she added.
She said the AA Bill had provisions for ensuring gender equity and equality in all sectors including the local government level.
Mrs Minka-Premo said the 2019 local government elections recorded only 226 women leaders out of more than 6,720 electoral area, adding that in continuing with this low representation of a core group of the population, Ghana is missing diverse leadership and the attainment of economic and social justice.
The Convenor stated that Ghana had failed to ensure gender equality in public life despite its international and national obligation to do so.
The Programme Officer of Abantu for Development, Ms Grace Ampomaa Afrifa stated that currently women’s representation in Ghana’s Legislature stand at 14.5 per cent while women’s representation in local Government stands below five per cent.
She said over the years, elections had proven that it could not guarantee equality in the representation of women and men, adding that “It is important that other strategies are employed to ensure gender balance and equal representation of women and men for effectiveness in democracy and sustainable development.”
Ms Afrifa stated that an Affirmative Action Law, represent itself as the most guaranteed way for achieving women’s increased participation in Ghana’s 2023 Local Government Elections.
The Principal Programme Officer of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Ms Sabia Kpekata who represented, Ms Faustina Acheampong, the Director of Gender at the Ministry, called on stakeholders to galvanise support for women’s equal participation in decision making processes.
Ms Kpekata said Affirmative Action law in Ghana was the only way to attain gender equality with respect to women’s participant in decision making since it provide legally mandated systems, structure and policies to ensure women’s equal participation.
She assured that the Ministry would continue to implement activities to strengthen advocacy on women in leadership and decision making at local level.
The Executive Director of Network of Women in Growth, Ms Mawulawoe Awity, stressed the need for women to support their counterparts.
BY ANITA NYARKO-YIRENKYI
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