Parliamentary Committees meet with Stakeholders to consider the Affirmative Action Bill 2023.

Members of the Committee on Gender, Children and Social Protection and the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs of the Parliament of Ghana met on 15-16 February 2024 to consider the Affirmative Action Bill (AAB) 2023. 

This meeting follows the referral of the bill to the Committee on Gender and Children during the previous session of Parliament. The two-day meeting was organized by the Parliament of Ghana in partnership with the African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA) under the auspices of the Global Affairs Canada funded Inclusive Legislatures for Gender Responsive Policies (ILGRP) project, implemented with the Parliamentary Centre.

The aim of the meeting was to consider and review the bill clause by clause. This collaborative effort underscores Parliament’s commitment to thorough deliberation and inclusive decision-making regarding the Affirmative Action Bill, which seeks to promote gender equality and social inclusion in Ghana.

The meeting provided a platform for various stakeholders including the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP), the Office of the Attorney General, the African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA) and the Affirmative Action Bill Coalition (AA Bill Coalition), to contribute to the deliberations on the Affirmative Action Bill 2023. The AA Bill Coalition comprises Women’s Rights Groups, several Civil Society Organizations and gender advocates. 

The Convener of the Affirmative Action Bill Coalition, Mrs Sheila Minkah-Premo, emphasised the bill’s significance in addressing pervasive social, economic, and educational disparities within the country. She lamented the disproportionately low representation of women in Parliament and District Assemblies even though women constitute over 50 percent of Ghana’s population, underscoring the bill’s potential to rectify this disparity and enhance gender parity across all levels of governance.

Ms Minkah–Premo further explained the urgent need for a concerted effort to expedite the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill into law, adding that the coalition’s advocacy reflects a broader commitment among stakeholders to address gender disparities and promote inclusive governance practices in Ghana.

The journey towards the passage of the AAB has spanned over a decade and it is eagerly anticipated by Women’s Rights Groups, gender advocates, CSOs and development partners.  

As the 8th Parliament embarks on considering and scrutinizing the bill, there is optimism that it will be successfully passed, marking a significant step forward in Ghana’s efforts to achieve gender equality targets.

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