Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings
Members of Parliament (MPs) commended the former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings for her bold decision to contest in the 2016 presidential election on the International Day for Women, which fell on Wednesday.
They added that this year’s theme, ‘Be Bold For Change’ further gave credence to her resolve to vie for the highest position of the land.
The MPs also dedicated this year’s celebration of Women’s Day to the Chief Justice of the country, Justice Theodora Wood, for the professional and impartial manner in which she discharged her duties to ensure the socio-economic development of the country.
The Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Otiko Afisah Djaba, who made a statement on the floor of Parliament in commemoration of the day on Wednesday, called on Parliament to quickly pass the Affirmative Action Bill into law to empower women in Ghana.
She said the draft bill seeks to promote gender equality in all spheres of national development and added that women are not in competition with men but to complement them.
“I will ensure that the draft bill is finalized and brought to this House for approval,” she said.
She said the government intends to review the Intestate Succession Law passed in 1985 because there are still problems with inheritance in the country.
The Gender Minister said this year’s celebrations must be a reminder to intensify the fight for the empowerment of women since former Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan had rightly observed that “there is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women.”
She said in line with the NPP government’s policy to empower more women, the government would introduce the free secondary school education policy to enable more women to be empowered.
“We are also extending the Ghana Household Registry to all the regions and intensifying the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme to cover many more vulnerable women in the twilight of their lives,” the minister said.
She said it was unfortunate that as the world celebrates women, some men in Ghana continue to trample upon the rights of women with impunity.
She cited the Marwako restaurant case where a supervisor allegedly dipped the face of a female worker into hot pepper and the lady in Kumasi, who was stripped naked and assaulted by men for allegedly stealing from a shop.
“This is the reality of the existence for many of our mothers, wives, sisters and daughters, being honourable members, we trust you will join us to condemn these heinous acts against daughters of Ghana and support us to ensure that the perpetrators are properly sanctioned as prescribed by the laws of Ghana,” she said.
By Thomas Fosu Jnr