By Papisdaff Abdullah.
Gender advocates are mounting pressure on President Nana Akufo-Addo to recall his recent ministerial list for the new regions because it is “discriminatory” against women.
Members of the Women’s Group in Ghana said they are “shocked and dismayed” that out of the 14 persons designated as Ministers and Deputy Ministers for the newly created Regions and some existing Regions only one is a woman.
“We are extremely disappointed at this appointment as we believe that all state appointments must be undertaken within the overall commitment to gender equality of women and men in order to add value and make use of diversity of experiences in ways that are democratic and define genuine and equal citizenship,” the women said in a statement.
Efua Chidi, Programs Manager and Head of Communication, Child Resource and Research Center said she wept when the list was announced. She is calling on the president to “take back the list” and rectify the “constitutional error” else she will head to court.
“I cried when the appointment was done. I was so disappointed. I thought we have come too far to witness some of these things,” she said
On his part, Frank Bodza, Programs Officer WILDAF said the same discrimination is being committed with regards to the Economic Management Team and other sectors, and appealed to Nana Addo to reverse the trend.
Below is a full statement from the group:
STATEMENT FROM WOMEN’S GROUP IN GHANA ON THE NOMINATION OF MINISTERS FOR THE NEW REGIONS
We have learnt with shock and dismay the nomination by His Excellency, the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, of 14 persons designated as Ministers and Deputy Ministers for the newly created Regions and some existing Regions in the country. We are dismayed because this list contains the names of thirteen (13) men and only one (1) woman.
We are extremely disappointed at this appointment as we believe that all state appointments must be undertaken within the overall commitment to gender equality of women and men in order to add value and make use of diversity of experiences in ways that are democratic and define genuine and equal citizenship. Article 35(6b) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana stipulates that the country must: “achieve reasonable regional and gender balance in recruitment and appointment to public offices”. The gender ratio being represented in this list is a mere 6.25% for women nominated as against men. This cannot be said to be “reasonable” and does not represent a genuine act of gender responsiveness but rather reinforces the critical gender equality gaps and challenges. Again, this appointment does not reflect the President’s current position as an African Union Gender Champion. The African Union (AU) per its Gender Agenda calls on all member states to achieve parity and equal representation of both women and men in political and public offices. It is based on this parity principle that Ethiopia, Rwanda, Senegal and other sister African countries are making progress towards the 50/50 appointment of women and men to high level political offices.
This list of Minsters designated to manage these Regions does not also reflect the governing party’s (NPP’s) Manifesto provision promising to give a minimum of 30% appointment to women in participation and in representation in all levels of decision making structures in Ghana. We do sincerely acknowledge the appreciable progress that has been made in placing individual women in very high profile positions but we are still missing out on the full benefits of gender equality leadership teams. Gender equality is a precondition for meeting the challenges of reducing poverty, promoting peace and security and enhancing the quality of our human capital.
We therefore demand that:
- The list of designated Ministers and Deputy Ministers for the newly created Regions and some existing Regions be recalled and reconsidered to ensure gender equality
- The formulae of not less than 40% women and not more than 60% men or 40% men and 60% women be applied
- Any government appointment should reflect the 40-60 formulae or the African Union 50-50 Agenda.
We are using this opportunity to also call on the Speaker of Parliament and all Parliamentarians to ensure that gender equality and parity are at the heart of all appointments that come to Parliament for approval. Gender inequality and gender disparities contributed in very realistic and substantial ways to Ghana’s failure to secure comprehensive improved conditions for all citizens.
- Women’s Manifesto Coalition
- Women in Law and Development in Africa
- Abantu for Development
- International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Ghana
- Women Media and Change (WOMEC)
- Free the Marginalised Women Advocates (FREMWA)
- Caritas Ghana
- Golden Star Foundation
- Voice of People with Disability, Ghana (Voice Ghana)
- Child Research and Resource Centre (CRRECENT)
- Community Development and Advocacy Centre (CODAC)
- Action for Sustainable Development (ASUDEV)
- SMAid International
- Pronet North
- 4-H Ghana
- Association of Women for the Preservation of the Environment
- Youth Empowerment for Life (YefL)
- Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC)
- Our Lady of Mercy Community (OLAMCS), Navrongo
- Penal Reform Ghana (PRG)
- African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA)
- Youth and Women Empowerment (WOYE)
- Lorlornyo FM
- Ghana Community Radio Network
- Radio Builsa
- Radio Ada
- Radio Justice
- Daasgift Quality Foundation
- CILTAD/Coastal TV
- Kekeli Foundation
- Volta Educational Renaissance Foundation (VEReF)
- Child Research and Resource Centre (CRESCENT)
- ABANTU for Development
- Amnesty International, Ghana
- Ghana Journalists Association (GJA)
- Association of Women in Media (ASWIM)
- Regional Advisory Information and Network Systems (RAINS)
- Ark Development Organisation
- Ghana Developing Communities Association (GDCA)
- Women Integrated Development Organization (WIDO)
- Central and Western Fishmongers Improvement Association (CEWEFIA)
- Women’s Hope Foundation
- Center for the Development of people (CEDEP)
- Peoples’ Dialogue on Human Settlement (PDHS),
- SMAid International
- Local Governance Network (LOGNET).
- Convention People’s Party (CPP)
- Odekro PMO
- Musician Union of Ghana (MUSIGA)