The Minister for Women and Children, the President of the National House of Chiefs and the Nana Queen Mother and other Queen Mothers who attended the launch and affirmed their full support for the legislation.
In partnership with Ghana Ministry of Women Affairs and Children, International IDEA supported the official launch of national consultations on an Affirmative Action Bill, on October 11, 2011, in Accra, Ghana.
The consultations aim to develop legislation that ensure equal participation and representation of women and men in positions of power and decision making at all levels.
International IDEA has been involved in the process leading up to this point and has assisted the Ministry with facilitating a dialogue with leaders of political parties to examine intra-party democracy processes and their impact on gender equality in decision making.
"IDEA has provided technical support and knowledge-based information on gender quotas, as well as the creation of awareness on the need for equal participation and representation of women and men in democratic processes," said IDEA's Senior Programme Manager for Democracy and Gender Rumbidzai A Kandawasvika-Nhundu.
"It is during this dialogue where a consensus was made, that a law is needed to guarantee the access and participation of women into positions of power and decision making," Kandawasvika-Nhundu added.
Consultations with women and men from various political parties and community groups will take place in ten regions of the country, with the objective to address key issues of why affirmative-action legislation is necessary and to identify substantive issues to be covered by the law.
In order to reinforce this effort, IDEA and the Ministry will work with leaders of political parties to address the issues identified in an analysis of political parties' policy documents from a gender perspective, particularly in relation to the nomination, selection and identification of candidates within the parties.
Ghana is one of the first countries in Africa, and in the world, to have a foundation of affirmative action policy, dating back to the late President Kwame Nkurumah's (1909-1972) government. The policy was not enforced however, as it did not translate into legislation and did not have implementation measures and strategies, as intended by this bill.