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IWD 2024: TUC calls for passage of Affirmative Action Bill

The Trades Union Congress (TUC), Ghana, has called on the Government to facilitate the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill (AAB) which is currently before Parliament.

‘As we celebrate the 2024 International Women’s Day, we once again call on the Government to facilitate the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill (AAB) which is long overdue.’

In a statement issued on the International Women’s Day, it indicated that ‘TUC will continue to promote women’s rights and gender empowerment in and out of the workplace and across the country.’

‘Count Her In: Invest in Working Women, Accelerate Progress: The Role of Trades Union’, the theme for the 2024 International Women’s Day, recognises the importance of equal access to education, employment pathways, financial services and literacy to promote gender equality.

It also ensures the protection of rights of working women in addressing the gender gap on widening workplace inequalities and gender based violence.

The TUC called on the Parliamentary Select Committee
on Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises and Government to accelerate the processes towards the ratification of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 190 on Violence and Harassment in the world of work, adding that over 36 countries across the world had ratified the C. 190, including Nigeria.

‘We further urge the Government to fast-track the ratification of ILO Convention 183 on Maternity Protection to extend the period of maternity leave to at least 14 weeks to give better protection to women,’ it added.

Dr Abena Nyakoa Asomaning, the Managing Director of Africa Environmental Sanitation Consult ((AfESC), speaking at the International Women’s Day in Accra, said ‘according to the 2021 population and housing census, women constitute 40 per cent of all household heads in Ghana, with their labour force participation nearing 65 per cent. Despite this, there persists a misconception regarding women’s capabilities, expertise, and self-confidence in assuming leadership roles, often negle
cting issues pertinent to women.’

She noted that while Ghana had made strides in addressing gender equality through political, legal, and institutional frameworks, disparities persisted across other sectors.

Dr Asomaning indicated that ‘the 2020 Global Gender Gap Index score of 0.67 indicates a 33 per cent gender gap in opportunities, encompassing education, employment, and access to resources.

‘The Gender-related Development Index (GDI) stands at 0.91, underscoring disparities in empowerment and economic status between genders,’ she added.

According to her, the World Bank’s gender inequality index of 0.583 highlighted the unequal distribution of human development between males and females, further exacerbated by cultural norms designating men as heads of households, leaving women to represent only 31.4 per cent of household heads in Ghana.

Addressing some challenges faced by working women worldwide, Dr Asomaning noted that women often found themselves earning less than their male counterparts for the sa
me job.

‘According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2022, the global gender pay gap stands at 16 per cent with progress towards closing this gap showing signs of slowing down in recent years,’ she added.

She said women remained significantly underrepresented in leadership roles across various industries, curbing their opportunities for career advancement and decision-making power.

‘A study by Catalyst on Women in the Workforce, 2022, found that globally, women held only 29 per cent of senior management roles in 2021, underscoring the persistent gender gap in leadership positions,’ she added.

Dr Asomaning indicated that women frequently encountered discrimination and harassment in the workplace based on their gender, fostering hostile work environments and detrimental effects on mental health.

Dr Asomaning, therefore, appealed to women to take up leadership roles to speed up the progress toward gender equality adding that ‘together, we can create a world where every woman thrives and
contributes to society’.

Source: Ghana News Agency