PASS THE AFFIRMATIVE ACTION BILL – AFRICAN WOMEN’S DEVELOPMENT


African women’s development funds and Abentu development has urged parliament to pass

the affirmative action bill to secure a legal mechanism for the best gender equality outcomes for

all citizens in public. The Affirmative Action Bill, which has suffered a number of setbacks

for about 10 years now, was supposed to increase the participation of women in decision making and provides

for a 40 per cent representation and participation of women in governance, public positions of power and

decision making. The Programmes Officer, ABANTU for Development, Madam Grace Ampoma Afrifa

expressed concern over the failure to meet the UN-recommended threshold of 30 percent women’s representation

in the District Assemblies, 68 years after the affirmative action measure of the 1960s.

According to her, if 30% is been given to women in the country to serve in other public and private

institutions then there is a great way to improve the development of the country.

Madam Grace Ampoma recalled an Affirmative Action Act of 1960 which allowed 10 women members unopposed

to represent the regions of Ghana in the then Legislature recognizing that women’s participation was a critical

component of democratic dialogue and social cohesion and they hope by August this year the bill will be a pass.

Ms Hamida Harrison, Programmes Manager, ABANTU for Development- a gender and policy advocacy Non-

Governmental Organization (NGO)― and Convener of the Women’s Manifesto Coalition (WMC), ),

in his address call for Affirmative Action to increase women’s representation in Parliament, had

been made 15 years ago in a document called the Women’s Manifesto.

Ms Harrison said despite promises, assurances, pronouncements and proclamations in an election year after

an election year, very little action had been taken to address the systemic inequalities that prevent women from

being part of the decision-making processes. The sensitization forum, organized by ABANTU for Development,

with support from the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF), formed part of efforts to implement

a project dubbed: Strengthening Advocacy for the Passage of the Affirmative Action Bill into Law in Ghana,

whose ultimate goal is to secure a legal mechanism for the best gender equality outcomes for all citizens in public

life. The project aims at developing and implementing a nationwide affirmative action campaign strategy in order

to strengthen advocacy initiatives for the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill into Law.

Story By: Prince Baffour Asamoah

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