‘No Affirmative, No Referendum’-Network for Women’s Rights in Ghana

Women according to Network for Women’s Rights in Ghana (NETRIGHT) would be more vulnerable in local level elections if political parties are allowed to filly participate without any protection of women interested in vying for political office at the local governance level.

This call is in reference to the upcoming referendum elections to decide whether political parties should be allowed to be involved in the elections of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives(MMDCEs) as stated in the constitution Article 55(3)..

It is against backdrop that, in a press release signed by its Convenor, Madam Pauline Vande-Pallen and Programmes Coordinator, Patricia Blankson Alakpo has called on the President of the Republic, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo who also doubles as the African Union’s Gender Champion and Co-chair of the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) advocates to expedite actions to pass the Affirmative Action Bill into law before referendum, December 17th, 2019.

To them, the failure to pass it into law before the said date, they, women will boycott the referendum elections, hence “No Affirmative, No Referendum”.

NETRIGHT is a network of civil society organisations and individuals who have a clear interest in working together to bring a gender perspective into national processes and advocate for policy change to strengthen women’s human rights as well advocates for attitudinal and policy
changes to achieve women’s equal rights and also draws attention to violations of women’s rights.

In addition, aims to create spaces for debate, discussion and clearer articulation of different positions within the Ghana women’s movement on women’s rights issues, as well as other national issues.

Furthermore, the Network is made up of membership of 102 organisations and over 500 individuals across the
country and part of the coalition of organisations that have been pushing for the enactment of the Affirmative Action legislation in Ghana to ensure the inclusion of women in decision-making and governance at all levels.

The demand for that legislation was first made in 2004 as part of the demands in the Women’s Manifesto for Ghana but fifteen years later, that legislation has still not been passed.

However, in 2017, the President in the State of the Nation Address promised the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill into law, but this was not done which in 2018, the President apologized to parliament in his State of Nation address for not fulfilling his promise made the previous year.

As at today, the bill till lingers awaiting passage to be a law in Ghana.

With regards to the referendum scheduled on 17th December, 2019, the public will be given the opportunity to decide whether Article 55(3) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana which prohibits the involvement of political parties in local elections should be amended to includepolitical parties in local
government elections. Parliament will also be concurrently addressing the issue of the amendment of Article 243 to allow for the election of MMDCEs.

The press release acknowledged that, women have not fared well in partisan politics in this country indicating that, currently, there are only 13.8% of females in Ghana’s Parliament and barely 7% in the local governance system despite interventions by political parties such as the reduction of filing fees for female
contestants.

Source: Ishmael Barfi & Delali Gavor

220 View(s)