The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW59) has tasked States to urgently adopt special measures to increase women’s full participation in political institutions and decision-making bodies by 2030, expiry date for gender inequality.
Measures UN Women are proposing includes the adoption of quotas, constitutional and legal reforms which implement explicit provisions to ensure women’s equal access in decision-making bodies’ organs of states.
[contextly_sidebar id=”fdSw9Cp8ZyFpOhDKq4CLOErWLroIQLaS”]The UN Women also urged States to ignite implementing capacity-building initiatives to support women’s political participation at the local and national levels.
Other proposal for the States to consider includes promoting networking for women politicians and providing training for political parties; dedicated gender equality structures, such as cross-party women’s caucuses; awareness-raising campaigns in the effort to eliminate the threat of violence and intimidation and annual national reports and monitoring to effectively measure progress made in women’s participation.
Nana Oye Lithur, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection noted that the Government of Ghana through the leadership of President John Dramani Mahama under the direction of the Ministry is sponsoring the Affirmative Action Bill.
“We have finalised a final draft for the consideration of the Attorney General and Cabinet,” Nana Oye Lithur, stressing that; “for the first time in Ghana’s history there has been an unprecedented number of appointments of women to key top public offices”.
Giving statistics, the Gender Minister said at the highest level of Government, women make up 29 per cent of Ministers, 23 per cent Deputy Ministers, 16 per cent Chief Directors, and 8 per cent MMDAs Chief Executives.
Other high-level appointments of women includes the Chief Justice, the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Office of the President, the Commissioner of Human Rights and Administrative Justice, Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education, Director General of Ghana Prisons, Director General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, the Controller and Accountant General, and Government Statistician.
Nana Oye Lithur noted that the National and Regional Houses of Chiefs have also begun the process of fully integrating Queen mothers into both houses.
Meanwhile the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) said the adoption of landmark conventions such as UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, has helped address discrimination against women and gender inequalities in all spheres of life.
Speaking at a side event at CSW59 on the theme: “Closing the Gaps on Women in Political Participation and Representation and the Post 2015 Agenda,” Mr Yves Leterme, Secretary General of International IDEA noted that “looking back over a decade, there has been several progress in strengthening the rights of women”.
The side event was jointly organized by International IDEA in collaboration with the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy.
He noted that with inter-governmental negotiations on the Post 2015 Developmental Agenda under way, it is critical to ensure that women are involve at the center of the political decision-making process at the national, sub-national and local levels.
Political Parties are one of the central institutions key to enhancing participation and representation as well as ensuring transparency and accountability and with this, it is important to recognize the role of political parties, he said.
The CSW59 is expected to end by March 20.