The Speaker and Leadership of the Parliament of Ghana have been urged to reconsider the composition of its Board of Directors to include women, to reflect the realities of an increased women representation in Parliament and the quest to empower women to take up high positions at all stages of national life.
NDC General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, and a former NPP Member of Parliament, Abraham Osei Aido, together with the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu and the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu have been appointed as members of the Parliamentary Service Board.
These appointees will join the Speaker and the Clerk to Parliament to form the six-member Board of Directors for the country’s legislative body.
However, the Ghana Parliamentary Monitoring Organizations Network (GPMON), in a press release issued on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, expressed disappointment at the news of an all-male membership of the Parliamentary Service Board for the 8th Parliament.
This followed the announcement by the Rt. Hon. Speaker Alban Sumana Bagbin on the Floor of Parliament on Monday, March 29, 2021 about the recommendation of an advisory committee which confirmed the membership of the Board according to the Parliamentary Service Act (Act 460).
The release was signed by the Civil Society Organizations including: Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Parliamentary Network Africa (PNAfrica), Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), STAR-Ghana Foundation, Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF), Odekro, Youth Bridge Foundation (YBF), and Penplusbytes.
Below is the full statement by the CSO group.
NO WOMAN ON THE PARLIAMENTARY SERVICE BOARD
The Ghana Parliamentary Monitoring Organisations Network (GPMON) congratulate the Parliament of Ghana for appointing the Parliamentary Service Board in accordance with the Parliamentary Service Act (Act 460).
We however, observe with great disappointment, the failure by the Speaker, Right Honourable Alban S.K. Bagbin and the advisory committee to appoint, at least, one woman to serve on the Parliamentary Service Board.
The Parliamentary Service Act (Act 460) provides for a six-member Board comprising the Speaker, the Clerk, and four other members appointed by the Speaker upon the advice of a committee set up by Parliament. The Board performs critical functions which are very important to the effective functioning of the legislature.
These functions include: general control of the management of the Service on matters of policy, and promoting the welfare of Members of Parliament (MPs) and staff.
Available records indicate that the Parliamentary Service Boards of the last decade or more, had a female member. Considering that the 2020 parliamentary elections saw marginal improvement in women representation, with approximately 15% of all MPs being women, the move by the leadership of Parliament to constitute an all-male Parliamentary Service Board can only be described as unfortunate.
Even though Rt. Hon. Speaker has not flouted the Parliamentary Service Act, we hold the view that the current composition of the Parliamentary Service Board neither reflects the House and society at large, nor helps the course of promoting a more inclusive society.
We, therefore, call on the Rt. Hon. Speaker and the leadership of Parliament to reconsider the advisory committee’s recommendation of an all-male membership to the Board. This will help the Board to benefit from the knowledge, experiences and contributions of women who represent the voice of more than half of the entire population of the country.
Again, including women in such a high decision-making body is a key indicator of an open society and will send the signal that our legislature is poised to promote inclusion and enhance effective participation of women in all units of the Legislature’s work. Finally, it is only fair that advice on policies, programmes and initiatives that would be recommended by the Parliamentary Service Board to the Speaker, benefit from insights of women.
Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana)
Parliamentary Network Africa (PNAfrica)
Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC)
Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII)
Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF)
Youth Bridge Foundation (YBF)
Source: Clement Akoloh||africanewsradio.com