OccupyGhana calls on the Honourable MP for Daboya Makarigu in the Northern Region, Nelson Abudu Baani, to apologise for and retract his misogynistic statement made in Parliament calling for Ghana to emulate the disgraceful example of Afghanistan by hanging or stoning women deemed guilty of adultery, and then to resign from Ghana's august House of Parliament.
OccupyGhana calls on the Honourable Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur, to immediately and in the strongest terms possible condemn, unequivocally, this heinous statement, and support our call for his resignation.
OccupyGhana finds it incongruous that while President John Mahama, as leader of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the country, continues to talk about gender rights and equality, his MP calls for women (and he says this could include his own wife) to be hanged or stoned to death. The President and the NDC must send a strong signal that this kind of thinking and talking cannot and will not be tolerated under the President's watch. Therefore, if Nelson Abudu Baani does not resign from Parliament on his own accord, OccupyGhana calls on the ruling NDC, on whose ticket Nelson Abudu Baani contested and won election to Parliament, to show Ghanaians and the world at large, that it does not share in his cancerous views, by delisting him from the party.
The irony is that Nelson Abudu Baani's uncivilised words were uttered during a debate on the Property Rights of Spouses Bill
OccupyGhana is shocked that it appears that the Speaker of Parliament did not there and then castigate Nelson Abudu Baani, that female members of parliament failed to spontaneously object to the statement, and that the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, more than 24-hours later has not spoken up against this repulsive viewpoint that has deeply offended right-thinking Ghanaian men and women.
For the sake of justice, peace and development, violence and discrimination against women must be recognised and criticised in all its overt and covert forms. Adultery, for lawmaker Nelson Abudu Baani’s enlightenment, is not committed by women alone, and it is not even a crime in Ghana. Addressing his warped and pre-historic notion of punishment for adultery to women exclusively, betrays an agenda of violence against women, and a view of women that is deeply sexist.
Ghana is a respected member of the international community. Ghana has ratified many UN Human Rights Conventions, including the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which bind us to adhere to standards protecting women rights. Indeed earlier this month, Minister Nana Oye Lithur spoke at the CEDAW conference boldly defending Ghana’s gender record. To leave Nelson Abudu Baani’s reprehensible statement without comment and for him to continue to be paid by the Ghanaian taxpayer to make laws for this country create a blot on this record.
The danger of Nelson Abudu Baani’s inflammatory views can be seen in the actions of violent groups with likeminded extreme anti-women ideologies such as the Taliban, the Islamic State and in our own West African region, Boko Haram, which are wreaking so much terror against women and whole communities.
It is this kind of unfortunate and dangerous thinking that informed the wholesale kidnapping of school-going girls in Chibok, Northern Nigeria, many of whom are reported to have been forcibly married off by Boko Haram. Baani’s murderously bizarre expressions could easily combine with the poverty and under-employment of young, impressionable men in Ghana to spark unwanted support for extremist views in our peaceful country.
The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection exists to ensure the equal status of women and protection of their rights. It needs to speak up now. OccupyGhana considers its silence and lack of action unnerving.
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