Media urged to champion the passage of the AABill
The passage of the Affirmative Action Bill is long overdue and in view of that, there are calls for its passage now.
To tthe general populace particularly, those in rural Ghana to better understand the true impact on Ghana's development should the much-delayed Affirmative Action Bill(AA Bill) be passed into law.
This call made by discussants at a roundtable discussion organized by CDD and the AA bill coalition and other partners themed "Averting excessive Delays in Passing the Affirmative Action Bill-The Role of Stakeholders", saw panelists proffer ways to propel the passage of the bill and the overall benefit it will inure to the country.
According to a Multimedia Journalist and Host, Ms. Emefa Appau just as the media played an advocacy role in making government understand the need for the passage of the Right To Information Law, the same energy has to be channeled into facilitating and creating awareness.
She noted that the said sensitization must be made in a way that would be understood by many. She was speaking at a roundtable discussion on how to avert the excessive delays in passing the affirmative action bill into law.
According to her, the media should not only be seen as purveyors of news but an advocate for the right of the marginalized in society.
Emefa Appau who could not understand why the excessive delays in passing a bill that would allow for women to have a better representation in law, explained that the place and role of women in the scheme of things cannot be overemphasized therefore the need to offer them their due.
The celebrated media personality urged the media to lead the fight just as it led the galamsey fight and the likes to avert the excessive delays. She, however, hinted that the effectiveness of the media's role to press home that demand will be premised on how much arsenal it possesses on the AA bill.
In that regard, she entreated the large spectrum of media, to seek much information on the bill. Ms. Appau further called for in-depth research on the subject matter to preach the same amongst the populace for them to appreciate the purpose of present and future impact on the developmental agenda of the country.
Just the same as the e-levy and other bills were passed, she noted that the AA bill should also be given such urgency. "If the politician is committed, the politician will pass it", she noted.
The media, she added must know that the bill is not a bill for only civil society alone, but media inclusive to get the general public to grasp and rally behind the bill. In the end, she underscored the unweilding power possessed by the media to cause a change in society and challenged the use of that power to cause understanding and change perceptions of the general public to support to cause.
The media must dedicate the most precious and golden time on-air to champion the passage of the AA bill and therefore press home the hashtag pass the AA bill now. "A key purpose of this bill is to increase the number of women in government and assume leadership roles", according to Madam Regina Amanfo Tetteh of the Center for Democratic Development(CDD-GHANA).
She added that women's political representation in Ghana has been abysmal with women holding only 14.5% of the total Parliament, and men continue to hold the majority of the seats. The percentage of women in Parliament, she indicated is far below that of the African average of 24%. "Ghana continues to fall behind most other African countries.
Even worst at the local government level where the barriers to participation are supposed to be lower", she said. She disclosed further that out of the 6000 or so assemblies members across the country, only 216 are women", she noted. She made a strong case calling for all to rally behind and make the dream of passing the AA Bill to the benefit of all.