The Police in Accra have turned down a request by the Civil Society Organisations Cluster on Decentralisation and Citizen’s Participation, to picket to demand prompt action from the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection on the laying of the Affirmative Action Bill before Parliament.

The group had written to the police asking for permission to picket over government’s inaction to facilitate the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill for the past 13 years.

But the Accra Police Command said the picketing could not be approved due to security reasons.

This decision by the police, according to Ms Efua Edith Chidi, the Co-Convener, CSOs Cluster on Decentralisation and Participation, has been very disappointing.

The police, she claimed said they have banned all public gatherings including picketing till 2020 thus cannot deploy personnel for the picket.

Ms. Chidi said they decided not to defy the order even though the reason given by the police is illogical

“We approached this campaign as patriotic, law-abiding citizens, working collaboratively with the police but the reasons provided are insubstantial,” she added.

She said the Bill when passed, would accelerate Ghana’s efforts at meeting Sustainable Development Goal 5 target of Gender Parity in decision making by 2030 and the African Union Gender Agenda of 50-50 representation of both men and women in decision-making.

Ms Chidi said they are extremely worried that the Affirmative Action Bill which was listed as one of the bills on the agenda for the last session of Parliament, did not see the light of the day since it was not laid before Parliament went on recess in August.

They have, therefore, given Cabinet a week’s ultimatum to do the necessary due diligence and present the bill to Parliament.

“We wish to call on the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to move the bill to Parliament within one week,” she charged.