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Parliament considers Affirmative Action Bill for passage by July

Affirmative action
Madam Patricia Appiagyei.

By  Rachel Kakraba 

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Parliament will, by the end of July 2024, pass the Affirmative Action Bill into law. This follows successful engagement with relevant stakeholders for their input to fine tune the Law.

Chairperson of the Gender and Social Protection Committee of Parliament, Madam Patricia Appiagyei, made this known in an exclusive interview with GBC NEWS in Parliament House. She touted the significance of the Bill for having the numbers of men and women supporting across all the decision making levels for national development. 

In 2023, the Bill came under a Certificate of Urgency in Parliament, which meant priority was to be given to its passage; however, that did not happen, which attracted some public outcry, especially from gender activists. As the December 7 polls draw close, some proponents, such as ABANTU for Development, have intensified calls for Parliament to pass the Bill before dissolution.

Speaking to GBCNEWS in Accra, Chairperson on the Gender Children and Social Protection Committee of Parliament, Madam Patricia Appiagyei, is optimistic that with the progress made so far, the Eighth Parliament will make history by the close of the current session, which ends in July.

Rachel Kakraba and Madam Patricia Appiagyei.

“It has 34 clauses and six schedules, so we are not anticipating any long consideration on the Bill, we’re hoping that by the end of this particular meeting, which might be July ending for the session, we will be able to pass the Bill.” 

Madam Appiagyei said women have for years suffered discrimination, and deliberate intervention such as an Affirmative Action Law is necessary to empower women to aspire to excellence. 

“By numbers, by statistics, by data, you would realise that when it comes to governance, when it comes to executive positions, the male outnumber the women, so definite policies and programmes must be adopted to encourage the parity that we want to achieve.”

Adding on, she said, “My wish is that all Ghanaians will have the lens of knowing that Affirmative Action is a crucial law that is required to enforce the implementation of the various policies and programmes, that we want to promote out there to do away with discrimination against women and also to ensure equity and equality in the scheme of things in the development of our country.”

Ghana’s pursuit of an Affirmative Action Law dates as far back as 1998, when the cabinet passed guidelines on the Bill. The Affirmative Action Bill seeks to address socio-cultural, economic, and political gender imbalances in Ghana based on historical discrimination against women. 

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