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Several calls have been made for Ghana to pass the Affirmative action Bill into law

The Need for The Passage Of The Affirmative Action Bill In Ghana

Ghana was one of the first countries in Africa to legislate an Affirmative Action Act in the

early 60s which facilitated the entry of women members to the 114-member legislature

to represent the regions of the country. Since then, the nation has made various

commitments by signing to global declarations and protocols that call for increased

women’s participation and representation in public life yet Ghana has failed to meet the

minimum United Nations recommended threshold of 30 percent women representation.

For the past thirteen (13) years, citizens have embarked on the process for the passage of

the Affirmative Action Bill but has still not being passed despite tremendous effort played

by Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).

Research has shown that there is a gender imbalance in several spheres of life in Ghana

and this position allows Affirmative Action to right the wrong of gender discrimination.

Also existing policies on Affirmative Action have not had the expected impact and

discrimination continues particularly in public life.

Affirmative Action is a temporary measure to ensure women’s effective inclusion in

development and decision-making processes in Ghana. The concept of an affirmative

action is to increase the active participation of women in public life from a minimum of

30% to a parity of 50% by 2030 in line with the requirements of the Sustainable

Development Goals (SDGs).

As a country, it is important to have inclusive development and a process that

involves both women and men so that all can benefit from public resources. Inclusive

development involves active citizenship by tackling participation but looking at the gap

in public boards, parliament, and district assemblies, it is very disheartening because

women are not adequately represented and until efforts are put in place to bridge the

gap, there would not be equal development. Ghana has a resource pool of dedicated and

intelligent women who can work effectively to make this country a better place.

Affirmative Action law in Ghana will promote equality in participation and representation

in decision-making processes which will enable women to protect and promote their

rights. With gender equality in participation and representation, women will bring on

board alternative development such as focus on child care and health issues and

improving the delivery of social services in remote areas. Ghanaian women have demonstrated

active citizenship and dynamism in different spaces over the years and it is no doubt that

when given the opportunity, they will perform tremendously.

Source: ABANTU for Develoment

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