MEMBERS OF Parliament yesterday marked the International Women’s Day with a call by female parliamentarians on the state to prosecute men who sexually harass their female subordinates.
They advocated the prosecution of men, particularly MPs, politicians, civil servant and technocrats who had been sexually harassing females at workplaces.
Contributing to a statement by Hajia Mary Salifu Boforo, Chairperson of Parliamentary Women Caucus, to commemorate the International Women’s Day, Akua Sena Dansua, Minister for Tourism, who is also the MP for South Dayi, expressed concern over the rate at which men in leadership positions were destroying young ladies through sexual harassment.
“This unacceptable behavior must stop,” Ms. Sena Dansua stated.
Commending women for their invaluable contribution to the development of the country, she described as sad the way men perceived efforts by women to get space in decision-making as a competition between them and men.
“If men try to impede women from getting the space they require they would have no other choice but to fight for it,” she insisted.
MP for Bantama, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, a former minister of state at the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, called on President Mills to make good his promise of appointing 40 percent of women in his administration.
“There are lots women out there who are much more competent than their male counterparts and can do a better job for the development of the country,” the minority spokesperson on Works and Housing pointed out.
She called on men to constantly engage their girl-children in conversations so to ensure social cohesion as well as proper child upbringing.
“These girls are our future leaders and therefore we need to mentor them for them to become useful and responsible citizens in our society,” Ms. Dapaah urged.
This year’s International Women’s Day was celebrated in Ghana on the theme: ‘Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures; Reducing Rural Poverty’.
Hajia Boforo, who is also the first deputy majority whip, observed that despite the many commitments by governments and the international community, women continued to lag behind their male counterparts.
This, according to her, was the reason why the African Heads of States and Governments in Addis Ababa, in 2009, declared 2010-2020 as African women’s decade to translate various commitments made into action at all levels and sectors.
“Admittedly, even though some progresses have been made, more needs to be done. I strongly believe that for us to make progress, the involvement of young women and girls is very necessary in every sphere of life. They need to be engaged in the process and as a nation, we need to invest and educate them.
“This is because investment in the training and education of young women and girls can boost economic productivity and reduce poverty among them,” Hajia Boforo stressed.
First deputy minority whip, Gifty Eugenia Kusi, who is also the MP for Tarkwa Nsuaem, called for more help and shelter to accommodate women who were being domestically harassed.
She advocated enactment of laws that would go a long way to emancipate Ghanaian women from their battle with poverty.
Also contributing to the statement, MP for Ayawaso West Wuogon, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, called for financial support for the women caucus in parliament to effectively carry out its cherished objective of assisting Ghanaian women.
Madam Osei-Opare, a former deputy minister for Employment and Social Welfare, appealed to parliament to provide the caucus with a secretariat and a permanent clerk which, she noted, would assist with “the good initiatives and programmes we have designed to assist women”.
MP for Asawase, Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak-Muntaka, said women’s struggle for space in decision-making could be facilitated if women themselves stopped being their own enemies.
According to him, the very people who maltreated pregnant women in labour in various hospitals across the country were women.
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