European Union Delegation to Singapore

European Union and IDEG Hold Forum in Accra to Help Strengthen Women’s Inclusion in Governance and Highlight the Urgency of the Affirmative Action Bill

25/05/2021 - 12:03
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The Delegation of the European Union to Ghana, in collaboration with the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) on Friday, 21 May, 2021, organised a forum on “Strengthening Women’s Inclusion in Governance and the Urgency of the Affirmative Action Bill: Progress, Challenges and Way Forward” in Accra. The purpose of the forum was to influence the setting of the public policy reform and affirmative action bill by mobilizing ideas and people to improve female inclusion in the politics and governance of Ghana.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Pieter, Smidt Van Gelder, Deputy Head of Mission at the European Union Delegation to Ghana, said the European Union’s Election Observation Mission (EU-EOM) report following Ghana’s 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary elections, had recommended that Ghana should enact and implement the Affirmative Action Bill with at least a 30% quota of women in governance and decision-making positions.  ‘’In the end, this should lead to a progressive increase to parity of 50%.’’ He added. 

Read more in his speech.

PDF icon opening_remarks.pdf

The report also urged political parties to adopt party quotas to promote women's participation in politics.

The keynote speaker, Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Mr. Alban Bagbin, promised that Parliament would collaborate with all relevant agencies for women development as well as civil society organizations to ensure that the affirmative action bill is passed into law.

Panellists and participants including Dr Emmanuel Akwetey, Executive Director of IDEG, deliberated on women inclusion in policy advocacy in Ghana. Dr. Aissa Kirabo Kacyira, High Commissioner of Rwanda to Ghana and H.E. Mrs. Alicia Rico, Ambassador of Spain to Ghana, shared best practices from their respective countries.

Other contributors included Mrs. Sheila Minka-Premo, Convener of the Coalition for Affirmative Action (CAA) Ghana, Dr. Rose Mensah-Kutin of Abantu for Development, Nana Oye Bampoe Addo, former Minister for Gender, Children & Social Protection (2013-2017).

BACKGROUND  

Following the low representation and the decline of the number of women in Ghana’s Parliament after the December 2020 elections, the European Union Delegation to Ghana decided to address the issue by organizing an event to explore ways to advance women’s participation in politics in Ghana. Currently, out of the 275-members of parliament, only 36 representing 13 per cent are women. Ghana is in the bottom 25% worldwide for women’s representation in parliament and below the average for sub-Saharan Africa.

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