The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) has taken exception to the constitution of the recently inaugurated Ministry of Youth and Sports’ Ministerial Advisory Board after discovering that none of its members was female, Persons With Disabilities (PWD) or youth.
“We at the Centre for Social Justice hereby express serious disappointment for the blatant disregard for a gendered and youth representation on this board,” it said in a press statement to register their displeasure.
According to CSJ, the exclusion of women, youths, and other vulnerable groups from the advisory board was appalling and untenable, “incredibly implying an absence of well-qualified women, youth and PWD in the public and private sectors with the requisite expertise.”
“In our opinion, the appointment of an all-male team is in very poor taste as it hardly reflects the best practice of drawing deeply from a rich and diverse pool of skills and resources available in the country currently.
“It beggars belief how the Ministry expects a team, completely shorn of women, youth and PWDs to make thoughtful decisions impacting a subsection of the population whose lived experiences they are totally ignorant of,” it stated.
They, therefore, called on the Ministry to, with immediate effect, reconstitute the Board to meet standard practices across the globe.
“We believe the criteria for selecting these board members is neither inclusive nor diverse enough and requires a relook. Therefore, we are by this release directly calling on the minister and ministry to, as a matter of urgency and priority, reconstitute the board including at least 50% of women, PwDs while being cognisance of youth to make it representative,” it said.
It also took the opportunity to bemoan the lack of proper representation of women, PwDs, and other vulnerable groups on State Boards, Ministerial, and Chief Executive Lists appointed by President Akufo-Addo.
“It is time for the President to fulfil his pledge of 30% of all appointees being women as contained in the 2020 Manifesto of the New Patriotic Party. From the perspective of the CSJ, the excuse of not finding qualified women, often given by political leaders, is untenable and not progressive.
“Neither should this be about appointing women as a symbol of tokenism as the country truly abounds in effective and qualified women and young leaders that are very capable of making a difference at all levels of the Ghanaian society,” it said.