Pass AA Bill into law to break the bias now!- AA Bill Coalition to Parliament
As Ghana joins the globe to mark International Women Day today, Affirmative Action Bill Coalition has called on Ghana’s Parliament to take urgent steps to pass Affirmative Action Bill (AA Bill Coalition) into law to break the bias against women in society.
A statement issued by Affirmative Action Bill Coalition on Tuesday 8 March 2022 said “Ghana must Pass the Affirmative Action Bill into Law to Break the Bias NOW!”.
PRESS STATEMENT BY AFFIRMATIVE ACITON BILL COALITION
Ghana must Pass the Affirmative Action Bill into Law to Break the Bias NOW!
On 8th March every year, the world marks International Women’s Day. The day is set aside to celebrate women’s social, economic, cultural, and political achievements. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is, Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Development Tomorrow with the campaign theme as #BreakingTheBIas. The Affirmative Action Bill Coalition is concerned about the government’s commitment to passing the Affirmative Action Bill into law to #BreakTheBias.
The Affirmative Action Bill aims to ensure the provision of opportunities that will help bridge the gap in gender representation in government as well as in other areas of public and private life. If passed into law, it will effectively redress Ghana’s social, cultural, economic, and political gender imbalance, based on historical discrimination against women emanating from persistent patriarchal socio-cultural systems and norms despite de jure equality of men and women. The resulting unequal participation in both development processes and outcomes reinforces men and women’s unequal status and undermines sustainable development. The Bill is designed to help eliminate gender inequalities, based on the principle that each citizen shares an equal right to self-development and that women and men with equal abilities should have equal opportunities. This is in accordance with Article 17(4) of the 1992 Constitution.
“The passage of the Affirmative Action (Gender Equality) law into law has taken too long in its passage into law.” Sheila Minkah-Premo, Convener of the Affirmative Action Bill Coalition, has said.
She also asserts, “Ghana has failed to ensure gender equality in public life despite its international and national
obligation. We have failed to meet the target in many international instruments. We will fail to meet other key gender equality targets, especially SDG 5, if we do not see Bill’s passage into Parliament by the end of
There have been several drafts of the Bill, with the first one being prepared in 2013 following extensive consultations in all the regions. Other drafts were prepared until 2016, when it was first laid in Parliament in October 2016. It, however, lapsed following the elections in 2016. We are informed that the 2020 version of the Bill is currently before Cabinet, and we hope that it will be laid
in Parliament soon for processing and passage before the close of the year Various political leaders have made commitments to ensure the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill into law, but this has not materialised. In March 2021, a year ago, President Nana Akufo Addo said that his government is committed to gender equality in his State of the Nation’s address, and they are working on resubmitting the Bill to Parliament. The former Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye, during his period as the speaker, called for the passage of the Bill into law, but this has not happened. Various Ministers of Gender, Children and Social Protection have made efforts to get the
Bill passed into law but to no avail.
From 2016 to 2020, we had 30 out of 275 in Parliament, making it 13.5%, placing Ghana at the 139th position on the Inter-Parliamentary Union World Classification.
Currently, in the 2022 Parliament, we
have 40 out of 275, making it 14.45%. This low representation of women in various government and decision-making positions is reflected in various places in government, in the corporate world and many decision-making spaces. As we mark this year’s International Women’s Day, we call on the government of Ghana, especially
the lawmakers, to #BreakTheBias and pass the Affirmative Action Bill now. The Executive, led by the President, His Excellency Nana Akufo Addo, should as soon as possible complete their deliberation process and submit the Bill to Parliament for the legislative process of the Bill to start.
We call on all members of Parliament, especially the women in Parliament, to quickly pass the Bill into law when it is laid before them. They should remember that both the minority and majority have
committed to the passage of this Bill into law, and it behoves them to make this a reality.
Civil society and the media should continue our advocacy and campaign until we see this Bill passed into law. We will continue to engage and remind the government of Ghana of its commitment on various international platforms to ensure gender parity by passing the Affirmative Action Bill into law.
We thank organisations like CDD Ghana who are working with us to push for the passage of the Bill into law. #PasstheAffiramtiveActionBill. CONVENER
FOR AFFIRMATIVE ACTION BILL COALITION
Source : africaneditors.com