Accra, Aug 22, GNA – The Ministry of Gender,
Children and Social Protection on Monday held a sensitization programme for
political parties and the media on the Affirmative Action Bill that is yet to
be placed before Parliament for debate and passage.
The Bill, which has already received Cabinet
approval, would carefully and effectively redress areas of social, cultural,
economic and educational imbalance and ensure gender equality when passed into
The Affirmative Action Bill is to promote a
legal backing and framework for increasing women’s representation and
participation in decision-making and development of the country.
It would further rectify historical
wrongdoings by mandating that certain opportunities be made available to those
distinguished by gender, minority or those under-represented in society.
Representatives from the National Democratic
Congress, New Patriotic Party, National Democratic Party, Progressive People’s
Party, Great Consolidated Popular Party, Convention People’s Party, as well as
media and other civil society organisations participated in the programme.
Mrs Della Sowah, the Deputy Minister for
Gender, Children and Social Protection, said the sensitisation programme was
crucial to enlighten civil society and ensure a deeper understanding of the
Bill in order to make it easier for its acceptance by all political parties
when it got Parliament.
She said all government institutions, civil
society organisations, private sector and individuals had a role to play in the
implementation of the Affirmative Action Law when it is passed.
She said the Bill would promote the full and
active participation of women in public life by providing a more equitable
system of representation in politics and governance with Ghana’s international
and Constitutional obligations and national development aspirations.
It would further provide a framework to help
eliminate discrimination on the basis that each citizen shares equal rights to
self-development and women should have equal abilities with equal opportunities
regardless of their gender.
Mrs Sowah said in Ghana although women were
not formally suppressed in any form when it came to their participation in
decision-making, the strong culture and traditions that put females at a
disadvantage did not create the conducive atmosphere for them to effectively
partake in such activities.
She said it was imperative that government,
stakeholders and the public supported the implementation of the law at all sectors
when it was passed.
There were solidarity messages from
representatives of the various political parties who expressed their gratitude
to the Ministry’s Department of Gender for organising the sensitisation to
throw more light on the various clauses under the Bill.
They said the knowledge gained would
encourage their parties leadership to make conscious efforts in committing
funds and other logistics to support women and give them more slots to contest
and win seats in Parliament.