Ghana needs effective affirmative action policy for sustainable development - Dr Appiah Kubi
The Chairman of the Committee on Gender, Children and Social Protection, Dr Appiah Kubi, has underscored the need for the government and stakeholders to deepen their commitment and support for the formulation and implementation of an effective affirmative action policy to improve and sustain the process of achieving gender equality.
He announced that Ghana had signed up and adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which had gender equality as one of its goals.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are new global objectives that succeeded the Millennium Development Goals on January 1, 2016.
The SDGs, which have goal five as gender equality, will shape national development plans over the next 15 years, from ending poverty and hunger to responding to climate change and sustaining our natural resources, food and agriculture.
Dr Appiah Kubi made the observation at a workshop to dialogue on the Affirmative Action Bill (AAB) in Koforidua in the Eastern Region.
The participants were made up of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Gender, Children and Social Protection, representatives of the Judiciary, the legislation committee and the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee.
Dr Appiah Kubi hinted that the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MGCSP) was to develop a legal basis and put in place systems, structures and policies to ensure women’s equal participation in the social, economic and political life of the country.
The acting Executive Director of Federation of International Women Lawyers (FIDA), Ghana, Mrs Susan Ayeetey, said Affirmative Action was a set of measures to address a history of systematic discrimination and exclusion of particular social groups in the interests of certain developmental goals.
The President of FIDA Ghana, Mrs Afua Adotey, said the AAB was based on the principle that women and men should have equal opportunity, and expressed the hope that members would have useful entry point to inspire useful debate.
The acting Resident Country Director of FES, Mr Christopher Frost, sponsors of the programme, said: “If Ghana would progress, there was the need for the people to stand up for the equal right of men and women and allow all voices to be heard.”
The Executive Director of Ark Foundation, Dr Mrs Angela Dwamena Aboagye, spoke on the impact of the AAB on national development strategies. She said the AAB was about social justice, democracy, good governance, participation equality and human rights.
She said its benefit included a healthy psychological shift towards enhanced participation of vulnerable groups, a sense of recognition, equity and potential for modelling a documented economic and social benefit.
The dialogue served as a platform to formally and consultatively build consensus with stakeholders on issues related to gender equality and women empowerment.