Source: GhanaWeb

The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) on Wednesday said, it viewed with dismay the gradual plunging of Ghana into mayhem as a result of the political violence which had characterized the biometric voter registration. A statement issued by Ms Jane Quaye, Executive Director of FIDA and copied to the GNA in Accra said the battering of Ms Ursula Owusu called for great concern because the incident was creating a test case for women who might wish to venture into politics.

It said political violence was a disincentive to women’s political participation and such attack on women candidates fostered intimidation and eroded the political space for their meaningful political participation.


“Now more than ever, we need more women’s voices in Ghanaian politics to help redefine our political priorities as a nation that is fast achieving middle income status. Issues about women and children must be given priority in the national agenda so they do not end up at the peripheral. Who best can articulate these issues than Ghanaian women in the political arena.”


The statement noted that violence against women in politics had nothing positive to offer the nation, adding that, it affirmed the belief that politics was a no go area for women, a notion which was not only untrue, but counter -productive.


“Machomen are not above the law; their behaviour only shows the socio-cultural climate of our society, where gender roles are perpetuated through violence in any form against women.


“We are equally disappointed by the inaction of the security agencies and their apparent lack of strategy and cooperation, to help forestall such violence in the various constituencies. This is the time for them to uphold and defend the good people of Ghana and to take firm control of the security situation in order to nip in the bud any disaster that may be looming ahead of us”.


FIDA called on President John Evans Atta Mills to take swift and necessary action against these dastardly acts to buttress the assurances he had given to Ghanaians concerning his stand against violence.


Such an action from President Mills would not only give better meaning to the country’s democracy, but would give potential women candidates’ confidence and hope in the governance system, it said.


“We call on all well meaning Ghanaians who are interested in defending our young fledgling democracy to condemn the unrest being created through these violent incidents as they have a potential of eroding our modest gains and taking us many steps backwards.


“We call on women’s rights organisations to join hands through advocacy and education to guarantee that women in politics are protected. This is the time for us to be tenacious and forge ahead to ensure that we attain that critical mass of women in decision making. It is vital for our development and survival as a nation, because without the incorporation of women’s perspectives at all levels of decision making, the goals of equality, development and peace cannot be achieved.”**


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