By Albert Futukpor, GNA
Tamale, Mar 08, GNA - The Women in Agriculture Platform and the Young Urban Women’s Movement in the Northern Region have called on government to pass the Affirmative Action Bill into law by the end of this year to enhance opportunities for women.
They expressed belief that the passage of the bill into law would provide the legal framework for addressing cases of gender inequalities against women in the country.
This was contained in a petition presented by the groups to the President through the Northern Regional Minister in Tamale on Thursday to mark this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) celebration.
The women groups undertook a procession through some principal streets in the Tamale Metropolis holding placards with various messages, drawing attention to issues affecting women and finally converged at the Northern Regional Coordinating Council to present the petition to the Regional Minister.
The IWD is an annual global celebration to amongst others recognise the contributions of women to society.
Madam Awulatu Yussif, Member of the Women in Agriculture Platform from the Nanumba North District, who read the petition, expressed the belief that the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill would give women equitable share of the national cake and fair representation in the decision-making process in all sectors especially agriculture.
The Affirmative Action Bill, which is currently being reviewed, has been on the drawing board for many years despite persistent advocacy by gender activists to get it passed into law.
Madam Yussif noted that women were largely disadvantaged and marginalised in the country in terms of voice, visibility and social recognition, adding, they had peculiar issues with access to land, business credit, homecare and space in policy decision making at all levels amongst others, hence, the need for the passage of the bill.
She expressed support for efforts of President Nana Akufo-Addo, who is also the Africa Union Gender Champion and Co-chair of the global Sustainable Development Goals forum, to push for the passage of the bill.
She lamented the current underrepresentation of women in governance at both national and local levels despite forming majority of the population.
Madam Yussif demanded strategies to ensure that women farmers benefited from the numerous agricultural programmes rolled out by government.
The Women in Agriculture Platform and the Young Urban Women’s Movement were organised by the CARE International in Ghana and NORSAAC, both non-governmental organisations, as part of the March for Women 2018 initiative to increase awareness on issues affecting vulnerable women in society.