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