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Don’t Shut Down Our Radio Stations

Don’t Shut Down Our Radio Stations published on

NCA

For the Sake of Freedom of Expression, NCA, Please Don’t Shut Down Radio Stations

The National Communications Authority’s (NCA) decision to close down so many (over 130) radio stations in Ghana is a very wrong move against freedom of expression that must be reversed immediately.

The individual’s right to freedom of expression duly guaranteed in chapter five, article 21 (1)a of the 1992 of Ghana is a crucial fundamental human right which must be protected at all cost.  The constitution clearly states: “All persons shall have the right to- freedom of speech and expression, which shall include freedom of the press and other media” (Article: 21 (1)a)

It should be noted that these affected radio stations serve a large proportion of the Ghanaian population by providing them with relevant information on national issues and platform to voice out their opinion.

It is also worthy of note that, easy access to the media by the citizenry is extremely vital for national cohesion and development. So NCA’s decision can negatively affect the peace and development of the country.

UNBELIEVABLE FINES

Clearly, some of the fines imposed by the National Communications Authority (NCA) are so high and absolutely bizarre that they seem unfair to the ordinary mind.

For instance, we are told that Radio Gold has been fined GH C 61 million for failing to file certain documents at the National Communications Authority in time. And for Montie FM, we are told that the NCA refused to take the money for the renewal of their licence and went ahead to shut down the station because of just eleven days delay. This seems arbitrary and unfair.

I think that NCA’s decision is extremely high-handed, disproportionate and not good for the growth our democracy.

As the Holy Bible says “All things are lawful but not all things are profitable” (1Cor. 6:12). The NCA may have the power to impose these fines but the effect might become unprofitable for the whole nation in the long run.

MEDIA PLURALISM AND TOLERANCE

It must be noted that the varieties of media outlets we have in Ghana greatly contribute to the promotion of media pluralism which is necessary for airing and reflecting the different views and values of the larger Ghanaian society.

Such views, no matter how divergent do matter just as the views of those who support government. We therefore urge tolerance for divergent views so that we can sustain the peace and security we currently enjoy.

THE CALL

We call on the NCA to reverse its decision and allow all affected radio stations to operate again. We also call on all civil society groups, Ghana Journalist Association, Members of the Diplomatic core, Chiefs and all well-meaning Ghanaians to impress upon NCA to quickly RESCIND its decision for the peace of our dear nation.

Rose K

Unequal Status Of Women Hindering Development In Ghana

Unequal Status Of Women Hindering Development In Ghana published on

WOMEN’S UNEQUAL STATUS  AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
The unequal status of women and girls in the Ghanaian society is still a major hindrance to community development and progress.

Do you know that many women continue to be attacked verbally or physically for voicing their opinion on community and other societal issues?

It’s still generally believed in Ghana and other parts of Africa that women have no right to challenge authority. If you do the consequences can be dire for you and your family.

A vocal woman who just wants the good of his community is often tagged as behaving like a man, ‘too known’ or simply difficult and unbearable.

Thus, even if a woman feels strongly that certain things are not going well in her community she is unable to voice it out openly because the powers that be will not take it kindly.
Women therefore remain marginalised and excluded from key decision making groups, bodies and institutions; a situation which is slowing down the pace of development in most parts of the country.
Last week a certain gentleman complained to me that a lady in his neighbourhood (at New Mamprobi in Accra) is the cause of their plight – she is the reason why their road remains bad and without gutters. Her charge was that she confronted their Member of Parliament over lack of development in the area, and because of her actions the MP made sure the area (the particular street on which she resides) is excluded from current community road improvement and gutter construction projects. He lamented: “ the woman is not good at all, she thinks she is a man, in fact she is too difficult”.

I believe all that this woman wanted was the good of her community. But members of the community now see her as their enemy. They are actually upset with her – which is worrying.

Although article one of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights…” this is hardly the case for most women today.

Community development ought to be a shared responsibility between men and women. We must understand that women’s voice only adds to the development of the area – it does not subtract from it.

The general perception that women’s opinion do not matter must change for Ghana to move forward faster.

ROSEMARY KAYI (Executive Director  – Stand Ghana – Advocates for Human Rights and Social Justice)

Rights & Responsibilities – Freedom of Speech In Focus

Rights & Responsibilities – Freedom of Speech In Focus published on

Claiming Our Rights Responsibly

There has been considerable debate lately about freedom of speech and expression nationally, following a number of contempt charges against some journalists and other members of society by Parliament and the Supreme court of Ghana.

We at stand Ghana deem it necessary to explain some of the misunderstandings about this very important fundamental human right.

Claiming our rights responsibly is a fundamental duty as  responsible citizens of Ghana or any other society for that matter.

In Ghana, the 1992 constitution duly gave us the right to enjoy our basic human rights and freedoms, including freedom of speech and expression as stated in article 21, clause 1a “All persons shall have the right to- (a) freedom of speech and expression, which shall include freedom of the press and other media”

However, within that right is a responsibility – that is , the duty to respect the rights of others and the laws of the land.

According to Article 12 clause 2, the  enjoyment of our rights and freedoms are not limitless. It states explicitly that: “Every person in Ghana, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinion, colour, religion, creed or gender shall be entitled to the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the individual contained in this chapter but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest”

Without that responsibility, even our own rights become meaningless. For example, no one can stand on the human right to freedom of speech to limit or undermine the human rights of others, incite violence or hatred towards others.

In law and in practice, freedom of expression is limited and in particular does not protect any statements that seek to discriminate against or harass others, or incite violence or hatred against other individuals and groups, particularly by reference to their religious/political belief, gender, race, tribe, ethnicity, age or status.

We cannot over emphasize the important role of freedom of expression in a democratic society such as ours. But, we are obligated, and for good reason, to claim our rights responsibly, bearing in mind the rights of others and the over all public interest, so that we as a people can experience true peace, democracy and meaningful development in our dear country.

By Rose-Mary Kayi  (Executive Director – Stand Ghana, Inc)

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