Affirmative Action Bill: Coalition mounts pressure on Akufo-Addo for its passage

Serious pressure is being mounted on the President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to pass the Affirmative Action Bill into Law.

The Affirmative Action Bill Coalition (AABC) championing the pressure pointed out that, passing of the Bill into Law is of urgency to ensure the wellbeing and development of the Ghanaian woman.

Speaking to the media at a press conference in Accra on Monday, 9th March, 2020 to commemorate the International Women’s Day Celebrations 2020, the Convener of the Coalition, Madam Sheila Minkah-Premo urged the President to show his commitment to Gender Equality issues since he is the African Union (AU) Champion for Gender Equality.

Therefore should ensure that, the Affirmative Action,Bill is passed into Law before the end of his four year term in office come December general elections.

This year celebration is under the theme: ‘I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights”.

According to Mrs. Minkah–Premo, one of the inequality challenges women face in Ghana is in national decision making stressing, it is evident in the representation of women at various levels of national leadership including governance, political party leadership among others.

“Women face difficulties in getting to significant leadership roles where decisions are made in the corporate world”, she bemoaned.

Currently in Ghana,38 out of 275 Members of Parliament (MPs) are women, representing 13.7% from both majority and Minority sides which is clearly short of the 30% representation set by the Inter- Parliamentary Union(IPU)” Mrs. Minka –Premo asserted.

The Affirmative Action Bill, which is yet to be laid before Parliament she noted sets to be a great opportunity to address the inequality in the national leadership and beyond.

Indicating that, passing of the Bill will aid the country to achieve the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 5 which calls for gender parity by 2030.

Adding that, its passage will go a long way to ensure the achievement of gender equality in political, social, economic, and educational spheres in society.

“This Bill has been sent to Parliament once in an election year which was 2016 but couldn’t be processed, hence lapsed at the end of that year when Parliament was dissolved”,he noted.

However, was quick to say, it has to be worked on again before being sent to Parliament which currently is yet to be sent to Parliament.

Madam Sheila Menkah-Premo therefore called on all women’s rights, Gender Activists and well-meaning Ghanaians to push for the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill into law before general elections in December.

A member of the Coalition on her part, Madam Theresa Akpalu emphasized that, the Coalition would continue to drum home their demands until Parliament passes the Bill into Law.

Therefore urged citizenry to vote out any Member of Parliament (MPs) who kicks against the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill into Law.

To ensure these MPs support their course, Madam Elizabeth Akpalu called on the coalition to identify lobbyists amongst the Coalition to target key MPs who are not in support of the Bill and convince them on why it is important to have the Bill passed into law.

Meanwhile, Madam Eunice K. Agbenyadzie, a member of the Coalition made a passionate appeat to the media to be stakeholders by prioritizing the Affirmative Action Bill issues by giving the course a wide coverage to ensure its passage.

Acknowledging that, no agenda can be pursued and succeeded without the support of the media adding that “Lets engage the media more on the issues so that they can also carry the messages across”

Madam Agbenyadzie later called on Politicians to desist from sending women to unsafe constituencies where they will lose adding that the Passage of the Bill into law would address all these challenges.

Present at the press conference where key personalities in the Civil Society Organizations(CSOs) activism such as Efua Chidi, Affirmative Action Bill Coalition (AABC), Lawyer Efua Addotey of FIDA-Ghana, Madam Rose Mensah Kutin of Abantu for Development.

Source: www.thenewindependentonline.com/ Ishmael Barfi/ senghana@gmail.com

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