Abantu for Development, a leading women’s rights advocacy organization in Ghana has engaged a section of the media to help with the drive to ensure the quick passage of the Gender Equality Bill (Affirmative Action Bill) into law.
Abantu has in its previous meetings with stakeholders emphasized that the continuous delay in the passage of the bill into law was affecting efforts to address the equal representation of women at all levels in Ghana.
At a media engagement held in Accra to ‘Increase Advocacy Towards the Immediate Passage of the Affirmative Action Law’ Abantu argued that the passage of the bill into law would help create a conducive environment for women, and eliminate bias and enhance the participation of women in national development.
The meeting, which was supported by Plan International Ghana was meant to amplify the ongoing advocacy to get the Bill passed into law immediately.
Speaking to participants on the Role of the Media in Reinforcing the advocacy for the passage of the Bill, Hamida Harrison, the Resource Mobilisation and Sustainability Manager at Abantu, reiterated that Ghana needs an Affirmative Action Law that would promote total inclusiveness, political pluralism, genuine democracy and good governance.
Ms Harrison pointed out that the political parties in the country saw the bill as a threat to power and power-sharing, hence the deliberate delays by various governments in passing it.
“Ghana has completed the draft bill that has been awaiting submission to Parliament for a considerable time now. Anytime we ask about it, we are told it is with Cabinet. What is holding it there?” she quizzed.
Ms Harrison indicated that out that in both the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) regimes, women had failed to make the equality mark in elections and appointments to positions of leadership in government.
“It is not one political party that has failed the women of this country but all. All these parties have not been very fair, faithful and accountable to the promises they made to women. The late Prof. John Evans Atta Mills promised before becoming President that 40 percent of his government appointees would be women, but that never materialised. The highest was 21 percent.
The outcome of the 2020 election shows that there are only 40 out 275 Members of Parliament [MPs] in the 8th parliament making 14.5 per cent. This demonstrates that the problem persists and there is an urgent need for legislation to turn things around.
The 32 clause bill to promote gender equity, especially in decision making, which has been in Cabinet since 2018 according to the organization, was gathering dust with no idea of when it would be passed for the implementation of its objectives.