June 3, 2024

A seven-member delegation from the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) in South Africa has called on the Clerk to Parliament, Mr. Cyril Kwabena Oteng Nsiah, to solicit views on how to enhance female participation and equality on a number of issues within the African continent.

Briefing the gathering on the purpose of the visit, the leader of the delegation, Mr. Gali Massa Harou, noted that the Pan-African Parliament is in the process of putting together an African Model Law on Gender, which will serve as a guide to all African member countries that have difficulties in implementing laws bordering on issues of gender.

Equal access to education, employment, land, law, reproductive rights, and protection of women, as well as economic and social opportunities for women were few indicators listed by the delegation.

Responding to the subject matter, the Deputy Clerk in charge of Corporate and Financial Management Services, Mr. Ebenezer Ahumah Djietror, who represented the Clerk to Parliament, was of the view that the model laws must be tailored to fit the culture and religious values of member countries.

He cited the Property Rights of Spouses Bill as having been in the books of Ghana’s Parliament for the past 20 years, stressing that the Bill has not been passed due to issues with a few clauses, including a cohabitation clause that seems to create disagreement among Members of Parliament and some civil society groups.

He added that if such an African Model Law was implemented, it could be useful to Ghana’s Parliament in passing the Property Rights of Spouses Bill.

He, however, cautioned the delegation to do extensive consultations before finalizing its report.

The delegation was taken through a number of Acts and policies that would help its cause. They include articles 12 and 35 of the Constitution, which talk about equality and inclusiveness; the Domestic Violence Act; the abolition of female mutilation; and the Criminal Offences (Amendment) Act.

Also present at the meeting were Coordinators of Departments, Directors, and some senior officers of the Parliamentary Service.