Three female Members of Parliament (MPs) have lauded President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for his readiness to collaborate with the House to pass the Affirmative Action bill.
The MPs who cut across the two political divides – the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and National Democratic Congress (NDC) – said the bill when passed would bolster women participation in the governance process.
President Akufo-Addo has promised to push for Ghana to meet the 30 percent target for women participation in governance when he delivered his first State of the National Address Tuesday.
He stated that this would be done by collaborating with “Parliament to pass the Affirmative Action Bill to increase women’s involvement in decision making at all levels.”
The Bill received Cabinet approval in 2016 and was tabled before the sixth Parliament of the fourth Republic, however, it was not passed into law before its term elapsed.
The failure to pass the Bill which was at the consideration stage means that work has to start from the beginning. The Affirmative Action Bill seeks a 40 percent representation and participation of women in public positions, governance and political decision making.
Serving on Parliament’s Gender Committee, North Dai NDC MP, Joycelyn Tetteh welcomed President Akufo-Addo’s assurance, saying the Bill when passed would rectify the inbalance in the system.
“I am impressed because I am a woman and I am part of the Gender Committee and this is one of our headaches,” she said, adding “that is a thumbs up for him.”
She, however, stated the President has not shown much commitment to affirmative action with the appointment he has made thus far.
“He has not done enough considering the percentage of women in his government.”
NDC MP for Hohoe, Dr Bernice Adiku said the passage of the Bill by Ghana’s legislature would improve the fortune of women in the country.
“This is long overdue,” she said, adding, there are some bottlenecks such as cultural, and religious issues that have to be addressed holistically before the Bill could sail through successfully.
On her part, NPP MP for Cape Coast North, Barbara Asher Ayisi described President Akufo-Addo’s promise as a “good one” that needs to be celebrated by gender activists.
“We are going to have some women serving as deputy ministers,” she hinted.