MP pledges support for passage of Affirmative Action Bill

Source Citinewsroom

The Chairman of the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Ben Abdallah Banda, has pledged his support towards ensuring the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill.

The chairman, who also doubles as the Member of Parliament for the Offinso South Constituency during the launch of the Affirmative Action Coalition at the International Press Center on Wednesday said that the passage of the bill into law will consolidate the effort of the government in achieving gender parity.

“Some level of inequalities still exist in our public offices. The Parliament of Ghana for instance has 30 women parliamentarians out of 275 members, which only represent 13.5%, which to me is woefully inadequate. However madam chairperson, we have some good news, the good news is that, some efforts have been made and some successes have been chalked pursuant to struggle for Affirmative Action Bill. I therefore pledge my unflinching support to your effort in ensuring the crystallization of the Affirmative Action Bill into a substantive Law. ”

“But we don’t have to tarry in ensuring that the Affirmative Action Bill which is still at the consideration stage is brought to Parliament as quickly as possible,” he said.

Last week Wednesday, during the launch of an advocacy campaign by International Federation Of Women Lawyers (FIDA- GHANA) and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Foundation for the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill by Parliament, Gender advocate and Executive Director of Gender Planning Consults, Joana Opare, spoke about the importance of the Affirmative Action Bill and what it would change for women and the country as a whole.

“If we have a parliament of 275 and out of that we have 38 women, then what is happening to us in a country where 51.2% are women and the rest are men? If we don’t participate, it means that somebody would make decision for you. The man doesn’t have breast but he is going to make decision about breast. Then whole issues of challenges in the political system, competitiveness, discrimination and intimidation of women discourage a lot of us from becoming political persons. So this Bill is looking at how we ensure that we are given some form of space to come on board,” she said.

The Affirmative Bill in accordance to the clause (4) of Article 17 of the constitution, is a set of measure adopted by government, public and private institutions to address a history of systematic discrimination and exclusion of women, and to encourage their effort towards addressing political, social, cultural, economic and educational gender imbalance in the private and public sector.

The Affirmative Action Bill is also to give 40 percent representation and participation of women in governance, public positions of power and decision making.

Various versions of the law have been drafted over the past decade.
In 2017, President Akufo-Addo mentioned the passing of the Bill, and did same in 2018 during the state of the nation address.

It has been over a decade in trying to get the bill passed, and there is still no headway.

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