According to ABANTU for Development Women have bemoaned the manner in which women have been marginalised in Ghana when it comes to governance.
Despite the fact that women account for more than half of Ghana’s population, the female/male participation ratio in Parliament, District Assemblies, the public/private sector, and corporate organizations does not match the population’s makeup. It is a crystal that the percentage of women in Parliament is a reflection of the imbalance.
“We have had one female Speaker of Parliament since independence with the rest being male. We have never had a female President or vice president. Ministerial positions have always had more men than women,” she decried.
Madam Sheila Minkah –Premo, the Convenor of the Affirmative Action Bill Coalition, said this at a press conference in Accra under the topic “Ghana needs an Affirmative Action Law before the end of 2022.”
According to her, the processing of the Affirmative Action legislation into law has taken much too long. The formal process for drafting the Bill began in 2011, although it has yet to be introduced in Parliament.
According to her, despite its international and national obligations, Ghana has failed to promote gender equality in public life.
“We have failed to fulfill the aim in several international documents, and we will fail to meet other critical gender equality targets, including SDG 5 if the Bill is not passed by the end of 2022.
Whatever the challenges are with some parts of the Bill, including the body to implement the law, which is the Gender Equality Committee at the Ministry in the Bill rather than the Gender Equality Commission proposed by others, it is still necessary to pass the Bill into law now and to correct any problems with implementation later,” she stated.
Stressing that, there is enough justification for the need for an affirmative action law to be enacted into law by Parliament.
In Ghana, women’s representation in all policy-making arenas falls short of the United Nations (UN) threshold of 30%.
Currently, women’s representation in the Legislature (Parliament), stands at 14.5%, while in the District Assembly System, below 5%.
The situation is no different in the government’s ministerial, ambassadorial, and board appointments.
The persistent low representation of women in these key decision-making spaces makes it near impossible for women’s effective contribution to Ghana’s development.
These extremely low figures are in spite of the fact that Ghana has signed on to various international protocols and conventions, pledging to ensure 30 to 40% representation of women.
This she said, Ghanaians would soon go to the polls to cast their ballots in the Local Government Elections to elect members to serve in the District Assemblies, next year, 2023.
Without an Affirmative Action Law in place, these Elections will yet again, reinforce the existing low representation of women in Ghana’s Local Governance system.
ABANTU for Development, with the support of the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF), is therefore urging all stakeholders, including the Executive, the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection, and Parliament, to expedite all processes in order to have the Affirmative Action Bill passed into law by the end of 2022.
Source: Isaac Kofi Dzokpo/mydailynewsonline.com