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International Women’s Day 2018: “Pass Affirmative Action Bill Now.”- Penplusbytes

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On Thursday March 8, the World marks International Women’s Day, also known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace, to celebrate women’s achievements throughout history and across nations. It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political.

The theme for the day is “Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives”. This year’s International Women’s Day comes on the heels of unprecedented global movement for women’s rights, equality and justice.

With the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report findings telling us that gender parity is over 200 years away – there has never been a more important time to keep motivated and #PressforProgress. Gender parity is an important achievement that strongly influences whether economies and societies advance. Unfortunately, data shows that the gender gap is widening, so there desperately needs to be new ways of thinking if the world is to close the gender gap. Progress is regressing and moving backwards.

What can be said of our dear nation, Ghana, who after her 61 years of existence is yet to pass an Affirmative Action Bill that will ensure equal opportunities for women’s participation in all spheres of the economy?

Penplusbytes and its partners are hereby calling on Government to as a matter of urgency pass the Affirmative Action Bill while taking into consideration the views and concerns of women with disabilities in particular.

The Affirmative Action Law is indeed Ghana’s major intervention towards attaining gender equality with respect to women’s participation in decision making. The fewer women in a society participating in formal decision-making, the less likely it is that the decisions made are working in favour of gender equality.  The representation   of   women   in   formal   decision-making   positions   is, therefore, an important factor to improve gender equality.

And while it is a known fact that gender parity in every society won’t happen overnight, the good news is that across the world women are making positive gains day-by-day. Plus, there’s indeed a very strong and growing global movement of advocacy, activism and support.

This is the time for Ghana to invest in women while seeking to achieve Agenda 2030 of the Sustainable Development Goals. Such an investment is the most effective way to lift our communities, corporate environments, and even our country. Women’s participation makes peace agreements stronger, societies more resilient and economies more vigorous.

So in the words of the UN secretary general, we say, “This is not a favour to women. Gender equality is a human rights issue, but it is also in all our interests: men and boys, women and girls. Gender inequality and discrimination against women harms us all”.