Political parties urged to champion passage of Affirmative Action Bill

Political parties in the country have been advised to help champion the passage of the Affirmative Action (Gender Equality) Bill to ensure an equal representation of women in all sectors of the country.

A Convenor of the Affirmative Action Bill Coalition, Sheila Minkah-Premo, who gave the advice noted that Ghana's current representation of women in key decision making spaces showed that women had been marginalised.

Hence, it was important for political parties to make women representation paramount in their spaces to ensure that women were equally represented to actively champion the passage of the bill.

“It is evident that an Affirmative Action law is the only guaranteed way to achieve gender parity and ensure women's effective representation in key decision making spaces”, she explained.

Women representation

Currently, there are 40 women out of 275 members in parliament, making it 14.5 per cent, which is an improvement on the previous parliament of 30 women but said there was still more room for a higher representation.

Mrs Minkah-Premo made these remarks recently at a consultative dialogue with various political parties to ensure the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill in Accra.

It was organised by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Abantu for Development and the European Union, on the theme, "Supporting the Passage of the Affirmative

Action Law in Ghana for Increased Women's Participation: The Role of Political Parties".

A legal practitioner and advocate of the bill, Mrs Minkah-Premo, questioned the excessive delay in ensuring that Ghanaians benefitted from an Affirmative Action law.

The AA Bill Coalition believes that political parties are very critical institutions in a constitutional multiparty democracy and can immensely contribute to promoting women's increased political participation and representation in politics.

The bill is aimed at promoting a progressive increase in the active participation of women in public life from a minimum of 30 per cent to of 50 per cent by 2030 as per the SDG goal 5.

It also seeks to provide an accountability framework for measuring gender equality and empowerment of women by the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary as well as in the public and private sectors.

Although the country had completed a draft bill in response to its mandate to pass an AA Law as recommended in Article 17(4) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana and Articles 4 and 7 of CEDAW-1981, it was awaiting submission to Parliament.

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