Stakeholders urged to advocate the passage of affirmative action bill
Madam Sheila Minkah-Premo, a lecturer at the University of Ghana, has called on all stakeholders including the media to advocate towards the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill into law to help protect the interest of women and girls in the country.
She said the bill had been in parliament for about a decade now but was yet to see the light of the day as a legal framework while women were disadvantaged by several factors including socio-cultural and political and economic barriers.
Madam Minkah-Premo was making a presentation on the theme: Biases Towards Women Leadership-Addressing the Challenge” at the launch of the Media Influencing and Advocacy campaign on Tuesday, March 8 which also coincided with the International Women’s Day celebration on the theme “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”.
The campaign is to support the ‘She Leads’ campaign which sought to change the negative socio-cultural norms that prevented women from participating actively in decision making and leadership.
According to Madam Minkah-Premo, women representation in parliament for instance is very low though they formed the largest part of the country’s population and said it does not adequately represent the interest of women in the country.
“One of the things we have been pushing for is to have a law which ensures that young women and girls gain access to the decision making process”, she said.
She explained that the bill, when passed into law, would help address the economic, social, education and political imbalances that women and young girls suffer.
Madam Minkah-Premo said women had the potential to contribute significantly to socio- economic development of the nation but that their efforts were undermined by socio-cultural barriers.
She added that they were also disadvantaged by systemic barriers which affect their efforts in participating in leadership and other decision making processes, particularly on issues that directly and indirectly affected their lives.
She explained that the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic had also widened the barriers and had impacted negatively on the country’s efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on achieving gender equality by 2030.
The Country Director for Plan International Ghana, Mr Solomon Tesfamariam, noted that the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day celebration recognizes the contribution of women to socio-economic development.
He explained that theme for the IWD which sought to recognize the efforts of women and young girls’ contribution to the fight against climate change and others was in line with the “get equal” campaign of the Plan International Ghana.
“Every time we speak up, write, talk, think, take part and stand together our power in position can be impossible to be ignored. If we join forces and inspire more allies …we become unstoppable”, Mr Tesfamariam observed.