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GENDER MINISTRY STAKEHOLDERS SPEAK ON AFFIRMATIVE ACTION BILL

Published On : Thursday, August 11 2016

The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) on Wednesday organised the second in a series of gender dialogues on “Promoting Gender Equality and Non Discrimination Through Affirmation Action” in Accra.
 
The dialogues, organised by the MoGCSP, are to fulfill the MoGCSP 2014-2017 strategic Medium Term Plan on the promotion of gender equality in the country. The dialogue among other things, will serve as platform to formally and consultatively build consensus with key stakeholders on issues related to gender equality and women's empowerment.
 
The sector Minister, Nana Oye Lithur, welcoming participants said Affirmative Action Law was Ghana's only way of attaining gender equality with respect to women's participation in decision making.
 
She explained that the Affirmative Action Law would provide legally mandated systems, structures and policies to ensure women's equal participation, adding that, that was why the MoGCSP, in collaboration with other stakeholders, undertook the process to develop an Affirmative Action Bill.
 
According the Minister, government had shown commitment towards advancing women's rights through numerous policies and directives, such as the 1998 Cabinet Directive to provide a set of guidelines for the systematic and sustained implementation of the various aspects of affirmative action towards equality of the rights and opportunities for women in Ghana.
 
Mrs Lithur said the Affirmative Action Bill had been through varied consultative processes with cross-section of the Ghanaian public.
 
The Rector of the Law Institute and Ghana’s representative to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, Mrs Hilary Amesika Gbedemah, in an opening statement on “the Role and Expectations of Civil Society in Promoting Affirmative Action,” called for more sensitization and education on the Bill.
 
According to her, “psyche without the law is dead on arrival” hence the need for extensive collaboration between civil societies, the general public and the Ministry.
 
Tracing the History of Affirmative Action in Ghana, a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Political Science of the University of Ghana, Dr Ransford Gyampo, explained that Governments' commitment to gender issues over the years have not been well structured into polices and the law.
 
He charged the Ministry and women in general to sustain their efforts to alter the status quo and called on men to support the women in this regard.
 
Contributing to the dialogue, international consultant on Gender, Development and Peace Building, Mrs. Joana Adzoa Opare, said the Bill sought to address existing gender gaps, adding that men and women might be different but were of the same value.
 
"Source: ISD (Karimatu Anas)"