In a bid to push for the Affirmative Action Bill to be passed, about 2,849 girls in the Upper West Region on Tuesday, March 8 2022 commemorated International Women’s Day by conducting a peaceful demonstration to draw the government’s attention to the said bill to be passed into law.
The girls were of the view that in this day and age there are still barriers such as institutional and socio-cultural attitudes that increasingly inhibit women’s fight for equal participation in areas such as politics and decision-making in the country, hence the need to pass the Affirmative Action Bill to break such barriers.
The girls were from areas such as the Jirapa municipality, the Nadowli-Kaleo District, Dafiama-Busie-Issah districts, and gathered at Busie as part of activities to mark International Women’s Day.
Marching through the principal streets of the community holding placards with different inscriptions, drawing the president’s attention to append his signature to the Affirmative Action Bill to make it law.
Their protest ended at the palace of the paramount chief of Busie, where the petition was presented to the Chief Executive of the Dafiama-Busie-Issah District, Imoru Nadi Sanda, to submit to the president.
One of the leaders of the girls, Wiriatu Thomas, championing the need for the petition, maintained that “there is enough evidence to prove that barriers such as institutional structures and socio-cultural attitudes and practices have worked and are working against girls/women’s quest for equal participation in politics and decision-making in Ghana.”
“The proposed affirmative action bill which intends to break such barriers has gone through various stages except getting presidential ascent. Therefore, we join the list CSOs, individuals and development partners to petition the president to ascent or facilitate the passage of the affirmative action bill into law”.
Stipulations from Article 35 (6) of the 1992 constitution compels the State to take required measures to achieve reasonable regional and gender balance in the recruitment and appointment to public offices, considering the immense contribution of women to Ghana’s development.
The much talked about Affirmative action bill they are pushing for is a set of measures adopted by governments and public and private institutions such as political parties, educational establishments, corporations, and companies to address a history of systemic discrimination and exclusion of particular social groups or to encourage the efforts of particular social groups in the interests of certain development goals.
It was approved by Ghana’s legislature, but still waiting for presidential assent to become law.
Wiriatu Thomas is of the view that some groups and individuals are deliberately delaying the passage of the bill into law to satisfy their selfish interests.
“The happenings in Parliament and labour agitations in recent times goes to prove that groups and individuals are interested in pushing what interests them most and not the generality of Ghanaians”.
The DCE for Dafiama-Busie-Issa, after receiving the petition, commended the girls for a peaceful procession and pledged to send their concerns to the president.
The 2,849 petitioners are beneficiaries of the Strategic Approaches to Girls Education project which is implemented by ProNet North Ghana in the Jirapa municipality and the Nadowli Kaleo and Daffiama-Busie-Issa districts of the Upper West region; in collaboration with World Education Incorporated with funding from Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development office.