Ghana government to set aside 50% MASLOC funds for female applicants

The government of Ghana says, it will set aside 50 per cent of the Micro Finance and Small Loans Center (MASLOC), funds for female applicants as part of its strategic interventions to ensure gender equality and women empowerment.

MASLOC provides micro and small loans for start-ups and small businesses with fast, easy and accessible microcredit and small loans to grow and expand businesses as well as to enhance job and wealth creation.

The Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Otiko Afisa Djaba said the new government and her outfit are committed to promoting the course of women and will ensure that women cover 30 per cent of public office.

She said, government will also reintroduce and enforce the administrative rule on the reservation of 30 per cent of poverty alleviation funds of the Metropolitan Municipal District Assemblies ((MMDAs) to serve women’s enterprises.

She was speaking at a stakeholders and media dialogue on the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill organized by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung-Ghana,(FES-Ghana) in collaboration with the International Federation of Women Lawyers-Ghana,(FIDA-Ghana).

On the Affirmative Action Bill, Otiko Djaba said Affirmative action has been used in Ghana since independence to address gender and regional imbalances in access to education, health, work and politics and while it has chalked some successes, it has been less effective for improving women’s representation in political and public life.

“In 1998, the government put in place an Affirmative Action policy guideline that called for at least 40 per cent representation of women in appointments to higher positions and over the years, not much effort has been made to make this a substantive policy a reality and therefore governments could not be held accountable to that commitment,” she pointed.

She indicated that although the Gender Ministry in collaboration with other stakeholders have worked to push the Affirmative Action Bill to the level it is now, she will work assiduously to assure that the Bill is passed into a law and effectively implemented.

Mrs Joyce Oku, President of FIDA-Ghana pointed out that the representation of women in formal decision-making position is an important factor to improve gender equality. .

“We must push for a gender parity law that will create stronger and more responsive Ghanaian institutions that prioritizes the interest of women and girls to build resilient societies,” she added.

Mrs. Oku commended FES-Ghana for their unwavering support in providing spaces for Ghanaian women to engage with each other regarding the necessity for an Affirmative Action Law.

By Pamela Ofori-Boateng

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