By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
As part of celebrating International Women’s Day on Tuesday, March 8, 2017, the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) has called on the government to honour various campaign commitments made to Ghanaian women as captured in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) party’s manifesto.
The institution called on the government to ensure the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill as early as possible.
It called on the government to “appoint over 30% women as Chief Executives in the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs); reactivate and strengthen the Gender desks at all Ministries Department and Agencies (MDAs), MMDAs to give more recognition and focus to women and gender issues in the design and implementation of public policies and programs.”
The think-tank body said the day was celebrated under the theme: “Be Bold for Change” and it presented a unique opportunity for government and all well-meaning Ghanaians to reflect on challenges, including cultural and traditional factors that impede progress towards women inclusion in public life.
The CDD-Ghana also mentioned that government must ensure that the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MGCSP) and the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) are well-resourced to engage in public education on some of the practices that are an affront to the progression of women and girls empowerment.
The Center urges the new government to fulfill all campaign commitments made to Ghanaian women as captured in the party’s manifesto which include: appointment of women to at least 30% of available public positions, set aside 50% of Microfinance and Small Loans Centre MASLOC funds for female applicants, and reintroduce and enforce the administrative directive on the Reservation of 30% of poverty alleviation/credit funds of Municipal/Metropolitan/District Assemblies (MMDAs) to service women’s enterprises. In addition, CDD-Ghana urges the government to:
“CDD-Ghana wishes to specifically mention the incidents of child marriage which is gaining prominence, particularly in the three regions in the north. Available information suggests that in Ghana, 1 in 4 women (27%) married before the age of 18,” CEE-Ghana stated.
It said as Ghana marked International Women’s Day, “it is important that Ghanaians evaluate the success (or otherwise) of our collective efforts to advance the course of women and girls in this country.
According to CDD-Ghana “without a doubt, some progress has been made in this endeavour; we note that women are breaking barriers and excelling in areas initially believed off limits. Yet, more efforts are needed to create opportunities for women to be in public decision making positions and to tap the potential and competencies of women to promote inclusive society.”
The CDD-Ghana noticed with regret that the 4th Republic has not seen appreciable representation of women in the governance structures, particularly the Legislature. Although, women form more than half of the population and significant steps have been taken by relevant stakeholders to empower and mobilize women for elective positions, the results have been unsatisfactory.
“In this current Parliament, the women representation saw a marginal increase from 10.9% to 13.5% as compared to 86.5% male representatives. This is unacceptable for a country that prides itself as a leading example of democratic good governance in Africa.”