Politics of 2014-06-28

Affirmative action law is not for women to compete with men

The Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur has explained that the affirmative action bill is not to motivate women to compete with men, but only to promote equal opportunities to enable women to enjoy dignified lives.

She therefore called on all to contribute towards the development of a comprehensive affirmative action law that would create equal representation of men and women in the decision-making process to reflect a more accurate composition of society.

Nana Oye Lithur was speaking at the formal opening of a two-day validation workshop on the draft affirmative action bill at Koforidua.

The workshop is being attended by 21 experts, representatives of women groups that include women's wing of the leading political parties in the country and some public servants.

The workshop was aimed at fine-tuning the draft affirmative action bill for adoption by Parliament.

Nana Oye Lithur observed that the issue of gender inequality is not only an issue of denial of women and girls of their rights but a developmental issue hence the adoption of many international conventions by the country.

“Yet women and other minority groups continue to face under-representation and participation in both political and public decision-making structures,” she added.

Nana Oye Lithur explained that in Ghana, the recognition of the role of women in national development dates back to the pre-independence era which culminated in the passage of the Peoples’ Representative Bill in 1960 which saw the first ten women entering the Ghanaian Parliament.

She said after 54 years, despite all the international conventions and efforts of various groups and institutions, Ghana could boast of only 10.9 percent of the Members of Parliament being women.

Mrs Lithur said the passage of the affirmative action law in Ghana is long overdue hence her ministry is working hard to ensure that by December this year, the bill is submitted to Parliament.

She said already her ministry had submitted a draft bill to the Attorney Generals Department.

Earlier in a welcoming address, the Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, Ms Mavis Ama Frimpong urged the participants to use their rich experience to ensure that, Ghana comes out with a more practical and workable law on affirmative action that meets the aspiration of the people.

She expressed her personal appreciation to the President for making a determine efforts to increase the representation of women in his cabinet and those holding public offices in the country.

Source: GNA
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