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Reconsider advisory committee’s recommendation of all-male Parliamentary Service Board – Group to Speaker

A group of civil society organisations calling itself, Ghana Parliamentary Monitoring Organisations Network (GPMON), is urging the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Kingsford Bagbin and the leadership of Parliament to reconsider the advisory committee’s recommendation of an all-male Parliamentary Service Board (PSB).

According to the GPMON, including women 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

Describing the composition of the Parliamentary Service Board as “unfortunate” GPMON noted that it does not neither reflects the House and society at large, nor helps the course of promoting a more inclusive society.

The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin Monday appointed Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketia and five other persons to serve on the Parliamentary Service Board (PSB).

Other members of the board are the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Leader of Government Business in Parliament, Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Minority Leader, Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, and Mr. Abraham Osei Aidoo, who is a former New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament and former Majority Leader.

The Parliamentary Service Board is chaired by the Speaker of Parliament, Mr. Bagbin.

Also on the board is the Clerk of Parliament, Mr. Cyril Nsiah.

The appointment of the six-member board followed a recommendation by the Advisory Committee of Parliament to the Speaker.

Commenting on the composition of the Board in a statement Wednesday, the Ghana Parliamentary Monitoring Organisations Network (GPMON) said they “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 statement added that “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,” the statement said.

Read full statement below:

GHANA PARLIAMENTARY MONITORING ORGANISATIONS NETWORK (GPMON)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 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 PARLIAMENTARY MONITORING ORGANISATIONS NETWORK (GPMON)

Contact

Ben Opoku Aryeh

Email: baryeh@parliamentafrica.com

Signed: 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)

Penplusbyte

By: Bernard Ralph Adams | Originalfmonline.com | Ghana

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