The Convener of the Affirmative Action Bill Coalition, (AA Bill), Sheila Minkah-Premo has urged stakeholders including government to do everything humanly possible that could lead to the passage of the Affirmative Action (Gender Equality) Bill into law with urgency.
According to her, the processing of the bill into law has been delayed for too long, adding that if passed into law soon would help break the bias of underrepresentation of women in governance and other leadership positions.
“The draft of the law has been ready for a longtime and needs to be approved by cabinet, forwarded to parliament to be passed into law therefore we believe that it should be passed before the end of 2022”.
Speaking at a press conference to mark the 2022 International Women’s Day in Accra on the theme: “#Break the Bias by passing the Affirmative Action Bill into law”, Sheila Minkah-Premo laments the bias against women continue including the number of women in leadership in various sectors continues to be inadequate which is an indication that the affirmative action law is needed to help address the inequality gap affecting women.
The media encounter, held on Tuesday at the Accra International Press Center brought together various representatives of the Civil Society Organizations in advocacy for the passage of the bill, leadership/ membership of the AA Bill Coalition and journalists to strongly advocate for the quick passage of the Affirmative Action Bill (Gender Equality) into law.
While identifying the absence of the substantive Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection as a big challenge which is thwarting efforts in helping push the Bill to the cabinet level, Sheila Minkah-Premo quickly called on President Nana Akuffo Addo to ensure that he appoints a substantive Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection into office with urgency to help facilitate the passage of the bill to the cabinet level as well as deal with all the burning issues relating to women which would go a long way to help break the bias
For his part, the Director, Advocacy and Policy Engagement at the CDD-Ghana, Kojo Asante observed the Affirmative Action Bill has stalled enough in spite of several promises from stakeholders hence the need to accelerate its passage into legislation with a sense of urgency.
He contended that the bill when passed into law would see the increase of women in both government, politics, and development processes generally which would intend bring about more differing views, opinions and perspectives which would inure to the benefit of the country’s development, adding that “Ghana cannot be a true democracy without equal representation of all groups, especially that of women and marginalized groups”.
The Affirmative Action Bill is meant to enact a law to address aspects of social, economic and educational imbalance in the country in accordance with Article17 (4) of the 1992 Constitution. The Bill seeks to promote a progressive increase in active participation of women in public life from a minimum of 40 per cent to 50 percent by 2030 in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Also adding her voice to calls, the Executive Director of Women, Media and Change, Charity Binka appealed to the speaker and members of parliament to help process the bill quickly when it gets to parliament to ensure its passage into law.
She also called on Civil Society including the press to join the Affirmative Action Bill Coalition strongly in advocacy to push for the passage of the bill into law hopefully before the end of this year.
The event was organized by Affirmative Action Bill Coalition in collaboration with Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana).
Source: Joseph Wemakor|Newsghana24.com