GFD demands 10% representation in government appointments
The Ghana Federation of the Disabled (GFD) is demanding that 10 per cent of government appointments to the district assembles be reserved for members to ensure fairness and justice.
The association said the current composition of 30 per cent government appointees at the district assembly represented specific interest bodies such as traditional leaders, market women and representatives of transport unions to the neglect of Persons with Disability, who equally represent a key interest group.
The Association has, therefore, proposed that the government reserves 10 per cent of its 30 per cent appointees for Persons with Disability.
Mr Yaw Ofori-Debrah, President of the Federation, said this at a joint stakeholder forum on the representation of Persons with Disability in the Metropolitan, Municipal and District assemblies.
The meeting featured representatives of political parties to deliberate on ways of mainstreaming PWDs in the parties to ensure their participation and engagement in political positions and leadership.
Mr Ofori-Debrah said the Federation was putting up structures to sufficiently prepare Persons with Disabilities to venture into the local district assembly elections next year.
He said there was the need to get PWDs involved in the decision-making process at all levels of governance, adding that the meeting provided a platform to woo political parties to create space for PWDs to participate effectively in leadership positions.
Mr Fredrick Ofosu, Programmes Manager of GFD, called on civil society groups and other stakeholders to share information on the status of PWDs in local governance and support the adoption of the quota representation of PWDs in the assemblies as proposed by the Federation.
He said since the inception of the district assembly concept in 1989, persons with disability had made conscious efforts to participate either through the open election system or lobbied for appointment into assemblies.
He said in 1998, the disability movement in Ghana successfully lobbied for the appointment of persons with disability into the Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
‘‘In spite of the efforts made, only a few were successful in their exploits’’, he said.
Mr Ofosu said the policy was not effectively communicated to the various MMDAs, hence only a handful of MMDAs included PWDs in the 30 per cent government appointees.
“Make a commitment to further enforce the provisions in the persons with disability Act 2006 (ACT 462), the Mental Health Law, and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability ratified by Ghana in 2012,” he said.
He also called for appropriate measures to modify or abolish existing laws, regulations and outmoded customs that constituted discrimination against Persons with Disability.