The Affirmative Action Bill Coalition, a non-governmental organisation, which has the sole aim to remedy social, cultural, economic and political gender imbalance in the country has held a workshop for journalists on the necessity for the Affirmative Action Bill.
A Steering Committee member, Dr. Charity Binka, urged the journalists to intensify advocacy and education of the public on the Affirmative Action Bill (AAB).
Dr. Binka said at the workshop that the media has a critical role to play in promoting the Bill, because it is responsible for informing and educating the public. It should also maintain interest in the bill by engaging MPs, other policymakers, traditional rulers, opinion leaders, identifiable groups and others in discussions towards the passage of the bill.
She again stressed the importance of ensuring equal representation and participation in all sectors and suggested that the media set agenda for news coverage of the AA Bill debate, radio and television programs, to promote it and special media programs on special days such as International Women’s Day and other gender-related activities.
The Convener of the AAB, Sheila Minka-Premo, added that the Bill recognises the fact that there is discrimination on the bases of gender and that women are about 52% of the population, but ratio of women in Parliament and District Assemblies is low.
“Ghana had a free and fair election, but only 40 women were elected into parliament and the highest achieved for ministerial appointments since 1993 is 24%”, she stated.
According to her, gender division of labour in the home, patriarchal and patrimonial systems, negative socio-cultural practices and beliefs, lack of education, lack of adequate resources, the nature of Ghanaian party politics and a lack of legislation to ensure gender equality were among the reasons for women’s marginalisation.
Mrs. Minka reiterated that the Affirmative Action Bill must be passed because the Constitution Review Commission Report and White Paper on the recommendations supports the need for the Bill and even provided timelines for enactment after the Constitution is amended.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Africa Centre for Human Rights and Sustainable Development,(AfChuRSD), Bernice Naa added to the comments by stating that 52 percent of Ghana’s population consists of women capable of holding leadership roles.
The Affirmative Action (Gender Equality) Bill Coalition was hosted by ABANTU for Development, with funding from the Equal Rights and Opportunities for Women and Girls Project (EROP) and Ghana SRHR Alliance for Young people, African Centre for Human Rights and Sustainable Development and Women in Need.