The Speaker of Parliament, Prof Aaron Michael Oquaye has debunked public perception that the House is reluctant to take action on the Affirmative action bill and stated categorically that the bill is not before Parliament.
He noted that an impression has been created as if Parliament was not acting but there is nothing before the House to that effect.
“Many of our country men and women think for example that there is an affirmative action bill before this honourable House, this is not correct as at today” he stated.
He has accordingly directed the Women caucus in Parliament, the Ministry for Gender, Children and Social Protection and Committee of Gender issues to follow up and collaborate in ensuring that the proposed bill is brought before the House for consideration within the shortest possible time.
Furthermore, he charged the women caucus and the select Committee on Gender to follow up and initiate processes together with the sector Minister for the introduction of the proposal for action as a matter of urgency.
The Speaker observed that Rwanda has now attained over 50% of women representation in Parliament, this he said is a challenge to Ghana to set out to think about how that is done.
Prof. Oquaye suggested the creation of seats exclusively for women as an affirmative action so that men do not feel threatened.
“An additional seat for women is a real possibility so that we can have a minimum of seats to be competed for by only women alone to automatically bring for example 30 women to the House” he proposed.
His call came in the wake of separate statements made on the floor by Chairperson of the Women Caucus in Parliament, Sarah Adwoa Safo and Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Otiko Afisa Djaba to mark the 2018 International Women’s Day celebration on the theme: ”Time is now: Rural and Urban Activists Transforming Women’s Lives”.
The Gender, Children and Social Protection encouraged women to endeavour to be game changers in development wherever they find themselves as the world marks International Women’s Day.
According to her the challenges of women and their development is not relative to them alone but a national agenda that must be addressed to accelerate the development of the nation.
Ms Otiko Djaba stated that Ghana’s economy thrives on the informal sector largely dominated by women and characterised by inadequate regulatory framework and high risks making women poor.
She disclosed that the objectives of the 2018 International Women’s Day are to identify and take stock of women status in the country, provide a platform that focuses on needs of rural and urban women in the changing world of work and rally support to accelerate gender equality, equity and women’s empowerment to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and the Beijing Declaration.