Under the banner “EachforEqual,” women’s rights groups in Ghana turned out this year on March 8, urging President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to address gender inequalities and social injustices and promote women and girls’ rights in the country.
“If we believe in the campaign theme #EachForEqual, which marks the International Women’s Day for 2020, then the time is now to accelerate efforts to promote the advancement of women and girls,” members of the rights group said.
Dr. Rose Mensah-Kutin, a Ghanaian gender advocate and journalist, is among the activists backing an Affirmative Action Bill.
“The need for increased equitable female political participation in Ghana is a genuine concern to all key stakeholders dedicated to women’s rights promotion,” she wrote in the Ghanaian Times. “ABANTU for Development with support from African Women’s Development Fund have therefore embarked on a nationwide campaign to strengthen advocacy for the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill in Ghana.”
“Attempts to address the inequalities have been largely ignored by policymakers who must act to support women’s rights. Efforts in Ghana, including civic education, have not significantly changed the situation.”
Despite the lofty words of the 1992 Constitution, women are underrepresented in many professional roles, she noted. Ghana ranks 141st in the world in terms of women’s representation in Parliament, with only 38 women out of the 275 Members of Parliament, representing a woeful 13.8%.
“It is therefore critical for all stakeholders to act decisively on the passage of an Affirmative Action Law in Ghana.”
The Golden Line Program, working in the Western and Ashanti regions to improve working conditions of women, issued the following statement: “The role of women in artisanal and small-scale mining is significant as they represent up to half a million or 50 per cent of the workforce in these mines.
However, “women commonly get the low-paid and low-skilled jobs in the mines, face severe health risks and are exposed to gender-based violence”.
Therefore, “on the occasion of International Women’s Day, Golden Line is asking for attention for the situation of women working in gold mines and living in mining communities.”
The Golden Line is a consortium comprised of groups working for equal opportunities for Ghanaian women.