By Gifty Mensah
Odekro celebrates all women MPs today, and affirms the courage, power and resiliency of Ghanaian Women. Happy Women's Day - #Be Bold for Change!
International Women’s Day (IWD) celebrated on 8 March every year commemorate the struggle for women’s rights. It is a day the international community has set aside to celebrate the cultural, political, economic and social achievements of women around the world. Odekro PMO Foundation is inspired on this occasion by our gallant women MPs and commemorate them on the significant impact they are making on behalf of the 51.2 per cent women population in the country.
This year’s IWD is not ordinary. It falls within the celebration of 60 years of independence since Ghana broke free from colonial rule, and in continuance of over two decades since the return to constitutional rule. Under the current Seventh Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana, women have 14.5 per cent representation; the highest by far in the history of our Legislature. An opportunity for this Seventh Parliament to create equal opportunities for women in representation will be to pass the Affirmative Action Bill. We also charge the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) and all other stakeholders to sustain their efforts to pass the Affirmative Action Bill. The bill which has dominated women’s debates for years now is set to provide legally mandated systems, structures and policies to ensure women's equal participation. In a country where women are the majority of the population, it appears an Affirmative Action Law is the surest way to shift the current paradigm by overturning gender stereotypes for more women to be elected into Parliament.
The Official UN theme for the celebration is “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030”. This echoes the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), by countries including Ghana on September 25th 2015, which places gender equality and women’s empowerment at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This call to committing to ‘substantive equality’ will unlock the full potential of women in the world of work. On and beyond the celebration, our Parliament should embrace this moment in the history of our nation building to canvass for gender-balanced leadership.
In the words of our President, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo; ‘let us mobilise for the happy and prosperous Ghana of tomorrow, in which all of us, including our youth, our women and the vulnerable in our society, will have equal opportunities to realise our potential, and build lives of dignity. Then, our independence will be meaningful.’
Once again, Ayeeko to all Women and may the Almighty God bless our homeland Ghana and make her great and strong!