Abantu calls for passage of Affirmative Action Bill

Source The Ghana Report/Gloria Kafui Ahiable

Abantu for Development, a gender and policy advocacy group has called for the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill.

The group says it takes exception to issues that impedes the participation of females in decision making at all levels especially within the sphere of politics and governance.

Speaking at a news conference in Accra on Tuesday, a member of Abantu for Development, Kinna Likimani, said the political will to pass the bill is paramount in promoting gender equality.

“Leadership has not done enough to open doors to women to effectively exercise their civic responsibilities towards the development of their well being and country,” she said at the news conference.

Head of Gender and Social Development center of the Institute of local government studies, Mrs. Magdalene Kannae emphasized certain factors acted as setbacks in their bid to standing for themselves as women.

“Social pressures, stigma, public insult, intimidation and lack of political will and barriers act as setbacks in coercing several women who have interest to compete for positions in communities and local assembly levels coil back into their shells,” Mrs. Kannae said.

Meanwhile, available statistics indicate that out of a total of 6,061 elected assembly members; only 282 representing 4.3 percent constitute women membership.

Also, records from the current administration indicates that women who have been appointed are relegated to the background.

Out of the 124 ministers serving in government, only 23, representing 8.6 percent, are women.

A total of 40 women were given the opportunity to serve as Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives out of a total of 260 by the Akufo-Addo led government

In addition, 5 women are also serving in the capacity as members of the Council of State out of a total of 25 while the legislative body of the country holds 38 women out of 275 Members of Parliament.

The Executive Director of Odekro and a member of Abantu for Development, Kinna Likimani added that the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill is key in addressing issues of gender equality in the country.

The group is urging women to defy all odds and massively participate in the District Assembly elections slated for December 2019.

Affirmative Action describes a set of measures targeted at protected groups in order to enable or encourage members of those groups to overcome or minimize disadvantage; or to meet the different needs of the protected group; or to enable or encourage persons in protected groups to participate in an activity.

Ghana’s Affirmative Action Bill when passed into law, will require government to ensure equitable gender representation at all levels of governance and decision making in Ghana, as well as address other social and economic imbalances.

The law is therefore expected to affect women’s representation in the public service, ministerial positions, independent constitutional bodies, boards of state institutions, the security services and political parties.

Presently, Ghana has a draft Affirmative Action Bill which is awaiting passage into law. The final draft of the bill received cabinet’s approval in 2016, but was not tabled in Parliament and therefore did not reach the consideration stage before the end of the Sixth Parliament of the Fourth Republic.

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You might also like