As the President of the Republic, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is set to deliver the State of the Nation Address today, 20th February, 2020, Civil Society Organisations Cluster on Decentralization and Citizen’s Participation has called on the Akufo-Addo led government to as a matter of urgency, pass the Affirmative Action Bill Into Act now.
The year 2020 marks the silver jubilee of the Beijing Declaration on Women and Platform hence the best honour for Ghanaian women is for government to pass the Bill into Act.
This was contained in a statement read by a member of the Coalition, Mrs Efua Edith Chidi in Accra after a mammoth float by women clad in red attire, and walked through the principal streets of Accra amidst brass band display by women.
The gender activist questioned why 14 years after drafting the Affirmative Action Bill, successive governments have failed to pass the Bill into Act.
To her, today’s State of the Nation Address by President Akufo-Addo is his last address in his four year tenure of office but the Bill is not passed though he assured Ghanaians of the passage of the Bill into Act in his first year in office.
With regards to the passage of the Bill, Mrs Chidi acknowledged that, the passage of the Bill into Act will be of good relevance to Ghana’s development.
As well aid the country to meet the Sustainable Development Goal(SDG) 5, which targets Gender Parity in decision making by 2020 and the Africa Union Agenda of 50-50 representation of both men and women in decision making.
To her, the President His Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo being the African Union Gender champion and co- chair of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which demands State Parties to achieve gender parity in representation in public and political life by 2030 should see to the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill into Act before he ends his tenure in office.
She further recalled the President giving unqualified assurance to Ghanaians in his first state of the Nation Address in February 2017 to pass the Affirmative Action Bill in his first year of the four year mandate.
The absence of the Act he bemoaned has weakened the implementation of the gender equality policies thereby perpetuating gender inequalities in Ghana’s political, social and economic processes with one voice.
To this effect, the CSOs’ Cluster on Decentralization and Citizen’s Participation used the ocassion remind the President to fulfill his assurance at the State of the Nation Address in February 2017 to pass the Affirmative Action Bill within a year in Office though that timeline has long been missed.
However, the group expressed its dissatisfaction of the Affirmative Action Bill been repeatedly listed as one of the Bills on the Agenda of Parliament but has never been laid.
Their actions according to Mrs. Chidi is backed by the 1992 constitution particularly Article 17 which states that all persons are equal before the law and all other supporting legislation and policies that speak to and are committed to achieving gender equality.
The group, comprising over seventy eight (78) CSOs is therefore petitioning government on three(3) demands including the introduction of the Affirmative Action Bill by the Ministry for Gender Children and social Protection in Parliament by 2020.
Furthermore, Parliament under the leadership of the Speaker should prioritize the passage the Affirmative Action Bill in this seventh Parliament of the fourth republic.
To the group, the President of Ghana being the African Union Gender Champion and Co-Chair of the SDGs should double his efforts and demonstrate increased commitment towards achieving these targets by influencing the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill Into Act before the end of his four year tenure.
Source: www.thenewindependentonline.com/ Ishmael Barfi/ firstname.lastname@example.org