Government urged to demonstrate Commitment in Passing the Affirmative Action Bill
“We’ve heard the President time and again come to Parliament, even during State of the Nation Addresses, promising and giving timelines that have never worked, and until that gets done and laid in Parliament, there is little that the legislature can do,”
Executive Director of the Parliamentary Network Africa (PNAfrica), Sammy Obeng, has urged the government to demonstrate high sense of commitment in passing the Affirmative Action Bill into law to help provide inadequate representation of people with access to opportunities. Mr. Obeng made the call at a breakfast meeting on Gender Advocacy to Parliament Project (GAP). It was organized by Parliamentary Network Africa.
In a media interaction on the sidelines of the event, Mr Obeng expressed disappointment with successive governments and their attitude towards the passing of the bill. He said the government must consider laying the bill in Parliament now as the 8th parliament may stand dissolved during the early parts of 2025.
Mr. Obeng further advised the president to show commitment by backing his assurances of presenting the bill to parliament with action.
“We’ve heard the President time and again come to Parliament, even during State of the Nation Addresses, promising and giving timelines that have never worked, and until that gets done and laid in Parliament, there is little that the legislature can do,” he emphasized .
He also urged Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) not to relent in mounting pressure on the government to speedily lay and pass the Bill in parliament.
On her part, Member of Parliament for Asokwa, Patricia Appiagyei, called on various Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to dedicate funds to support female parliamentarians and candidates especially during their primaries to enable them win or retain their seats. She asserted that, if adequate funding opportunities are not made available to female parliamentarians many of them would lose the passion and drive to be in parliament.
“It is very important that if we are working with the CSOs, wherever you are getting your funding from, it is critical that you appreciate the challenges we have in ensuring that we are servicing our constituencies and support us, especially even during our primaries. What do you do to support and ensure that we retain our numbers and be able to even appreciate the numbers that we have in Parliament?”
Member of Parliament for the Ablekuma North constituency, Sheila Bartels, added her voice to the call for female parliamentarians to be financially resourced to make great impact in their constituencies thereby drawing more women into the space.
“So if the women in Parliament are not making that kind of impact, what will motivate other women to also come on board? When financiers want to finance only men, when women who are already in Parliament are not getting the support to be able to make an impact within their constituencies,” she quizzed
The GAP Project, funded by the French Embassy in Ghana, aims to strengthen gender-based CSOs’ to close the gender disparity gap in the Ghanaian parliament by facilitating parliamentary advocacy for adopting laws and policies that promote equality, nondiscrimination, gender equity, gender parity, and the rights of women and girls.
The breakfast meeting was attended by MPs for Ablekuma North, Sheila Bartels, Asokwa, Patricia Appiagyei; La Dadekotopon, Rita Naa Odoley Sowah, Ketu South, Dzifa Abla Gomashie; Pusiga, Laadi Ayamba and Executive Directors of some Women based Civil Society Organizations.
By Derrick Botsyoe