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20.05.2004 General News

Women call for affirmative action

Listen to article increase their membership in parliament Cape Coast, May 20, GNA - Mrs Hamida Harrison, a lecturer at the University of Ghana on Wednesday called on the government to introduce an affirmative action that would give women a fair representation in parliament.

She said it was unfortunate that women who constitute 51 percent of the Ghanaian population should have only 19 of their colleagues in parliament.

Mrs Harrison made the call at Cape Coast when she spoke on "components and demands of the women's manifesto", at the opening of a two-day central regional consultative meeting, to review the final draft of the manifesto.

The meeting was jointly organised by the Network for Women's Rights in Ghana (NETRIGHT), Abantu for Development and NCWD. It was sponsored by the Canadian International Development Agency for some 60 representatives of civil society organisations, queen mothers, and various women's groups.

Mrs Harrison proposed that 50 per cent of the one-third of seats in Parliament should be allotted to women, as was done in the case of district assemblies, "to enable women take their rightful and justifiable positions in society".

She expressed regret that the position of women in various cultures of the world including Ghana, has been that of subordination and discrimination.

Ms Akua Britwum, Regional Focal person for Netright, said the manifesto would allow women to articulate their concerns in Ghana's 2004 elections and beyond.

Ms Araba Bentsi Enchill, national vice-chairperson of the Convention People's Party (CPP), said the manifesto has not been designed to make women over-lords at home, but to offer them protection, and enable them get "a fair and just deal" from the society.

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