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Affirmative Action Bill coalition launched

Accra, Sept. 26, GNA – ABANTU for Development, a civil society organization, has launched an Affirmative Action Bill Coalition (AABC), to garner support for the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill.
The coalition would act as the mother of the various groups advocating for gender equality initiatives to ensure the passage of the bill into law.
Affirmative Action (A.A bill) seeks to remove the unjust barriers that obstructs the pathways to the progress of women and the marginalized in the society.
The bill requires government to ensure equitable gender representation at all levels including public service, ministerial positions and independent constitutional bodies of state institutions amongst others.
The launch, which was held in Accra, seeks to consolidate the efforts of all stakeholders to ensure the passage of the bill into law before the dissolution of the current Parliament.
Mrs Sheila Minkah-Premo, the Convener of the Coalition, said gender discrimination is a significant problem and gender-conscious affirmative action mechanisms are needed to correct the imbalances.
The aim of the AABC is to coordinate civil society organisations activities to ensure the passage of the bill into law, to provide knowledge materials on the AA bill to undertake advocacy activities, to track and update stakeholders and to push for the passage of the bill.
Mrs Minkah-Premo said a lot of strategies have been put in place to allow the coalition embark on effective advocacy.
 “We hope that the 2019 version of the bill will be the last to appear before Parliament because the process has delayed for far too long,” the Convener said.
She called on more men to join the coalition, saying “the coalition is not only for women because affirmation action is for gender equality”.
Mr B.A Banda, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitution and Legal Affairs, commended the groups for coming together to form a formidable force to drive the passage of the bill into law.
He said government in trying to close the inequality gap, has put women in key leadership positions in the country such as the Chief of Staff, the Chief Justice, the Attorney General, the deputy majority leader, the 131 magistrate judges among others.
He pledged his support to the coalition saying he would work hard to ensure the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill when it reappears before Parliament.
The AABC is made of steering committee members from the various advocacy groups such as the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection, female MP’s, UNDP, European Union, Global Affairs and the Canadian Embassy.
The others are; African Women’s Development Fund, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Plan Ghana, Star Ghana, Cluster on Decentralisation, FIDA-Ghana, Netright, Alliance for Women in Media among others.  

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