Co- Convener, for the CSO Cluster on Decentralization and Citizens’ Participation, Efua Edith Chidi

Civil Society Organizations on Cluster Decentralisation and Citizens’ Participation have expressed worry over the government’s ability to facilitate the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill into law.

“The President in his maiden appearance to Parliament in February to present the State of the Nation Address gave a firm promise to pass the Bill within one year.

In his second State of the Nation Address he apologised for not passing the Bill the and since then have been quiet on the Bill in subsequent address.

We are afraid the government has removed the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill on its priority list,”

The Co-Convener, for the CSO Cluster on Decentralization and Citizens’ Participation, Efua Edith Chidi, made this known in an interview with News Ghana after a press conference which was held in Accra.

According to her, the country’s statistics has shown that women constitute 51 per cent of the population but there is still discrimination against them in all spheres of human endeavour since the successive governments have failed to pass the Bill into law.

This she said, the group intended to embark on picketing to press and persuade Cabinet to prioritize consideration of the Bill.

“We did not receive feedback until Tuesday, November 26 asking us to postpone our planned picketing.
Needless, to say, this has been a very disappointing turn.

We have approached this campaign as patriotic, law-abiding Ghanaian citizens, working collaboratively with the Police. The reasons provided are insubstantial,” she expressed worry.

According to her, the picket was expected to bring a hundred and fifty (150) people to solemnly share their messages and persuade Cabinet’s speedy action.

It was going to be silent, peaceful action for a 3-hour period.
After satisfying our legal obligations under the Public Order Act 491 (1994), the actions of the Regional Police Command on this occasion leaves with many questions.

“We are a group of Civil Society Organizations and individual Ghanaian citizens seeking this cause because of our firm conviction that AA Bill will serve Ghana. We are non-partisan and non-aligned. Our only bias is our support for women’s rights,” she emphasized.

According to Efua Chidi, the efforts of a group of Ghanaian women demonstrate active citizenship and dynamism has been conveniently thwarted by institutional barriers. It is unfair and an affront to the principles of human rights, equality, and democracy.

Stressing that, affirmative action is a call that must be consistent and backed by the necessary attitudinal, institutional and legislative support.

She also called on the President as the matter of urgency to remove all forms of institutional barriers to affirmative action in Ghana; by taking a personal interest in the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill.

We are also calling the authorities to act promptly and pass the AA Bill before the current Parliament is resolved.

“The bill when passed, would accelerate Ghana’s efforts at meeting Sustainable Development Goal 5 target of Gender Parity in decision making by 2030 and the African Union Gender Agenda of 50-50 representation of both men and women in decision-making,” she echoed.

Background
Ghana as a country has been exploring measures to increase women’s participation in governance over the years.

This is in recognition of the fact that women’s contribution to labour, productivity and family sustenance cannot be overemphasized, and these justify women’s participation in the country’s political process.

Despite gender equality being enshrined in the 1992 Constitution and Ghana signing up to several international instruments such as the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women (AU Optional Protocol on Women), the number of women participating in local, district and national governance and decision-making structures is very low.

It is in this regard, Civil Society Organizations on Cluster Decentralisation and Citizens’ Participation has been working assiduously to ensure the passage of Affirmative Action Bill into law to increase the participation of women in decision making.

Source: Isaac Kofi Dzokpo/newsghana.com.gh

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