Speaker advocates comprehensive affirmative action bill
The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye, has challenged government to draft a comprehensive affirmative action bill that will achieve the needed results when passed into law.
In his address at the Speaker’s Breakfast Forum Monday, he explained that the move will put an end to cases where male Members of Parliament complain about being urged out by their female counterparts during elections.
“It tells us that we can really do a good think tanking and bring out all manner of strategies and if women are one-third of district assembly nominees who are appointed by the President, what stops us from also amending those provisions so that the one-third will be reserved to women and elected at the local level,’ he said passionately.
Currently, there is a bill before Cabinet for further scrutiny which will later be subjected to consideration by the House.
This is expected to among others, ensure females and other marginalised groups get more representation in political decision making.
The former Dome Kwabenya MP, accused political parties of paying lip service to its passage and argued that, when a weak bill is passed, Ghana’s efforts to meet the Sustainable Development Goal 5 target of Gender Parity in decision making, may be hampered.
The Speaker also advocated for the shutdown of organisations that flout the yet to be passed affirmative action law.
According to the Speaker, compulsory aspects of the bill, which is yet to be presented to Parliament, must come with stricter sanctions to ensure the effectiveness of such a law.
“Please let us revisit the proposed legislation, the compulsory aspect of the affirmative action must really bite. It must bite, if it is not biting then it is of no use,” he appealed.
At the same event, Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, stated that Parliament remains fully committed to the expeditious passage of the bill when it is brought before them.
However, Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, called for a review of the constitution arguing, it does not promote the welfare of women.
In 2017, the Gender Ministry launched a campaign dubbed ‘HeforShe’, to pile pressure on government to pass the bill.
However, the goal is yet to be achieved.
In recent times, many civil society organisations have also called on the government to pass the ten-year-old bill.