The Deputy Majority Leader and Chairperson of the Women Caucus of the Parliament of Ghana, Sarah Adwoa Safo has warned that individuals who insult female politicians risk facing the legal action once the Affirmative Action Bill is passed.
Adwoa Safo who is also the first female Minister of State In-Charge of Public Procurement told participants of the 2019 Women Political Leaders (WPL) Summit in Tokyo, Japan, that the ultimate goal of the proposed Affirmative Action Bill is to bring gender parity in the Ghanaian society and increase women participation in decision making.
“For instance, Clause 38 of the draft bill says that ‘A person who victimizes, obstructs or exerts undue influence and submits a female politician to verbal attack, among others, commits an offence’. Government is committed to passing this Bill to bring about gender parity in the country,” she noted.
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The Member of Parliament (MP) for Dome-Kwabenya constituency, speaking further to the female politicians gathered for the two-day summit which ended on Thursday, expressed the belief that the Bill when passed will change the status quo.
Ghana is currently ranked 145 out of 193 in the Inter Parliamentary Union ranking on Women representation in Parliament across the world.
Despite the country’s impressive democratic credentials, evidence from the previous elections indicates that the participation of women is very low.
Out of 275 Members in the Parliament of Ghana, only 38 are women, representing a marginal 13.8 percent of the total number of Members of Parliament.
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However, in the view of Adwoa Safo, Ghana made marginal progress in the 2016 election by increasing the number of elected women from 30 (10.9%) in 2012 to 38 (13.8 percent), which still falls short of half of the 30 percent threshold mark set by the United Nations.
The Affirmative Action Bill which has suffered a number of setbacks for about 10 years now, seeks to correct this and increase the participation of women in decision making.
It provides for a 40 percent representation and participation of women in governance, public positions of power and decision making.
The Bill is currently before the Parliament of Ghana for consideration.
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