ABANTU for Development and other women’s rights advocacy organizations and activists have reignited calls for the government to pass the Affirmative Action Bill into Law before the end of the year 2022.
The Bill, which was drafted over 10 years ago has suffered some setbacks as it is yet to receive both Cabinet and Parliamentary approval.
Ghana’s Affirmative Action law seeks to remove the historical low representation of women in all decision-making spaces while promoting democracy and development through effective participation of all citizens, It also seeks to promote women’s representation to a minimum of 40 percent in policymaking spaces.
In a statement issued at a press Confab in Accra on Wednesday, February 3, 2022, ABANTU indicated that the drafting of the Affirmative Action Bill began as far back as 2011, however, to date, the Bill has still not been passed.
It said, “the government has made several promises to get the Bill passed in 2017and in 2020, yet, none of these promises have materialized. We appreciate the effort made by the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection and we call on the Ministry to expedite the process to get the Bill to Parliament within the shortest possible time.”
The statement signed by the Director of ABANTU For Development, Dr Rose Mensah Kutin, said, her outfit “with support from the African Women Development Fund (AWDF) is therefore calling on all stakeholders, including the executive, the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection and Parliament to hasten all processes to get the bill to Passed into law before the end of the year 2022.
“Ghana must not undertake another election without the passage and coming into force of the Affirmative Action Law. The benefit of the Passage of the Affirmative Action Bill into law will not only inure to women but to Ghanaians. Thus, all citizens must be concerned and demand for the immediate passage of this all-important legislation,” it appealed.
Madam Faustina Acheampong, Director, Department of Gender at the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection. noted that as the ministry is responsible for spearheading the passage on behalf of the citizens of the Republic of Ghana.
Mrs Acheampong to the news conference that “At the moment, I have to say that the bill has been resubmitted to the cabinet for their reconsideration and further approval before they submit it to Parliament for further deliberation and hopefully passing it into law.”
“I must say that my Honourable Minister is pushing this to the latter, at every cabinet meeting made sure that it’s been tabled and discussed and I have to assure everyone here especially the media that very soon, you will hear a favourable response from the cabinet.
“All that we are waiting for as a country is that it moves from the cabinet and goes to Parliament.
“With support from the Media, ABANTU and other groups, we have engaged the leadership of Parliament and so we know that when the bill is sent there, it is not going to take much time for them to pass it into law.”
In a Presentation on the Topic, ‘Ghana Needs an Affirmative Action Law before the end of 2022 Madam Sheila Minka –Premo, Convener of the Affirmative Action Bill Coalition, indicated that there are enough justifications on the need for Ghana to have an affirmative action law, and thus, there is an urgent need for every Ghanaian to join the advocacy in ensuring that the Bill is passed before the end of this year.
By: Mohammed Suleman/ Publiagendagh.com