Nana Oye Lithur, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, on Friday said the corruption level in the country would drastically reduce if women would be appointed to be at the helm of affairs.
She said women, especially those in the public sector, are doing very good job and could do more if their ratio of appointments would be increased.
Mrs Lithur said this during the final validation meeting with the members of the national working committee for the drafting of the Affirmative Action legislation which bothers on how gender equality, especially for women and girls.
She said a country like Rwanda is outpacing other African countries as far as development is concerned because it has heeded to affirmative action and has therefore appointed many women to head public offices.
She said the bill after the final validation, which comprised discussions on it and the road map toward its passage by the 21-member committee, would be forwarded to Cabinet and subsequently to Parliament.
She said the bill when passed into law would seek to address social, economic and educational gender imbalance so that opportunities are provided to overcome all forms of discrimination.
“The purpose of the Bill is to promote the full and active participation of women in public life by providing for a more equitable system of representation in electoral politics and governance in accordance with Ghana’s international and constitutional obligations and national development,” she said.
She said the passage of the Bill would rectify historical wrongs by mandating that certain opportunities be made available to those distinguished by gender, minority or under-represented status.
Mrs Lithur said the process to increase representation and participation of women in decision making in all sectors of governance structures and processes span over two decades with the drafting of the Affirmative Action Policy guideline in 1998.
She noted that the Bill has been sent to the Attorney- General’s Department for its input, comments and suggestions and would be submitted it to Cabinet for approval.
“Our presence here is to do a thorough review of the final draft bill before the presentation to Cabinet and subsequently to Parliament,” she added.
The Minister said her outfit would hold sensitisation workshops for editors, talk show hosts and other media personalities to senstitise them on the importance and content of the Bill.
“As the Bill also require that political parties are well informed, we shall also engage them in the coming weeks to ensure increased understanding and appreciation of the Bill”, she added.
Madam Hillary Gbedemah, a member of the committee said the Bill is divided primarily into five areas which bother on principles of gender equality and gender imbalance in the public and the private sectors.
Other include the provision of directive principles on Affirmative Action which is about the non- discriminatory clause which calls for the appointment of 40 per cent into high public offices, Ghana’s role in international affairs as far as women are concerned and the role of the Gender Ministry in ensuring the successful implementation of the Bill if passed.
Madam Laadi Ayamba, Chair, Gender Committee in Parliament called on all to support Kwame Nkrumah’s vision of empowering women and ensuring that more women got into Parliament.
“In 1960, Nkrumah passed a law which ensured that 10 women were sent to Parliament, but it is sad to note that we are in 2015 and women form less than 11% of representation in Parliament”, she said.
She called on women not to become their own enemies but rally strongly behind the Bill to ensure that it was passed for their own betterment and socio-economic development.