The Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon. Sarah Adwoa Safo has promised to end the twenty-two year long wait for the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill this year.
She said her intention is to do everything in her power to make sure the Bill is passed this year
“The Ministry is working around the clock on the Affirmative Action Bill. It is currently going through every necessary process to get it passed. I want to assure you that I will do everything in my power to make sure the bill is passed this year” Hon. Adwoa Safo disclosed at a stakeholders’ engagement with Civil Service Organizations (CSO’s) in Accra yesterday.
Ghana’s Affirmative Action Bill defines Affirmative Action as “A set of measures adopted by the government, public and private institutions to address a history of systematic discrimination and exclusion of women and to encourage their efforts towards addressing political, social, cultural, economic and educational gender imbalance in public and private sectors in accordance with clause 4 of article 17 of the constitution.
The Bill seeks to promote a progressive increase in active participation of women in public life from a minimum of 40% to about 50% by 2030 in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Bill, when passed into law, will ensure that a good number of women are in key positions in governance and in decision making spaces that will lead to the creation of policies that will improve the lives of women.
Hon Adwoa Safo also stressed the need to eliminate some of the statutory charges that prove a stumbling block for victims of Domestic Violence.
Victims of Domestic Violence sometimes have to go through a difficult bureaucratic process and pay some statutory charges before they can seek redress for some of the harm that is done to them, the Dome Kwabenya Member of Parliament noted stressing that “We will work with the relevant agencies to find ways to waive some of these statutory charges like rape reports from medical officers to pave the way for victims of domestic violence report their cases and seek redress without any hindrance”.
The Chief Director at the Ministry, Dr. Afisah Zakariah in an answer to a question of the capacity of the Victims of Domestic Violence Fund, mentioned that the Fund has recently been boosted due to the effort of Hon. Adwoa Safo.
“The Victims Domestic Violence Support Fund and its board are very active. Through the efforts of the Minister, the fund has been boosted by the government and we will be making good use of it to help support victims of Domestic Violence” she said.
The Ministry is also expected to work with the Ministry of Youth and Sports to help empower the youth in the country especially on entrepreneurship and job creation.
The Affirmative Action Bill has been in the pipeline since 1998 where guidelines for the law was passed by the then cabinet.
However, the bill is yet to be passed in parliament despite efforts of successive governments.
Hon. Adwoa Safo since her assumption of office as Minister has been meeting with key stakeholders of the Ministry to interact and chart a course of action and development for the Ministry under her tenure.
Yesterday’s meeting with over 50 Civil Society Organizations at the Ministry is to was among other things discuss issues pertaining to Civil Societies and how they can continually collaborate with the Ministry to achieve mutual goals.