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Impeachment of EC Boss: A Bad Move for Gender Equality

Impeachment of EC Boss: A Bad Move for Gender Equality published on

Is This How to Promote Gender Balance?

Chair of EC - Ghana
Chair of EC – Ghana

Do you know that a process to remove the Chair Person of the Electoral Commission of Ghana from office has been initiated by the Chief Justice?

But what are the reasons for this move by the ruling government and the Chief Justice? They are still not clear to most of us!

According to the electoral commissioner, Mrs Shallot Osei herself, she still doesn’t know her accusers! If this is true, where is the fairness?

Anyway, there are rumours that the petition for the impeachment of Madam Shallot Osei was sent to the President of the Republic by two drivers of the Electoral Commission – which is quite strange to me.

I’m just wondering what these drivers know about Ghana’s procurement processes; and how they managed to know that the process has been breached to warrant a petition for her removal. Because I hear one of the accusations is that she did not follow procurement procedures.

In my opinion, what is happening to this woman is not only about her; but all women in Ghana . It is a general attack on women’s right to political participation and our quest of gender equality in public life in Ghana.

It seems some people just don’t believe a beautiful woman can be competent enough to handle a top public office. That’s why her appointment was met with awful harassment and insults in the media.

I recall how her appointment was met with so much opposition simply because of her gender.

Indeed, she was maliciously accused of getting the position by offering sexual favours to the then president; regardless of the fact that she is a married woman.

All that some of us want is that the security and development of this nation must not be sacrificed on the altar of parochial interests.

The good book says: “All things are permissible but not all things are expedient.” The government may have all the powers to remove her, but to what effect?

Instead of trying to remove the EC Boss, who just organized a very successful election in 2016, the government should be making tangible efforts to cure the growing gender inequality in the country.

Written By:  Rose Mary Kayi

Delta Force Fine Is Bad Precedent For Justice

Delta Force Fine Is Bad Precedent For Justice published on

The Fine Isn’t Good For Our Nation’s Peace And Stability

The meager fine of GHC23, 400 imposed on 13 members of the delta force by a Kumasi circuit court recently is not only disappointing but a really bad precedent for the delivery of justice in Ghana and a threat to our peace and security.

We were told by the President of the country that, the thirteen (13) members of the group calling itself delta force, a vigilante group of the ruling New Patriotic Party  who were arraigned before court in March 2017 for attacking the newly appointed Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator, George Adjei, would be ruthlessly dealt with.

So many people who were very disgusted at the time by what happened were expecting adequate and befitting punishment for the group to serve as a deterrent for others.

However, that was not to be.  As a result, many Ghanaians, including the Stand Ghana team consider the small fine of GHC1,800 for each person unsatisfactory because it does not seem deterrent enough to prevent lawlessness in the country.

What is more worrying is the fact that people are complaining about the judgement being selective and discriminatory in nature; because others in similar situation but from different political party had been given harsher punishment than this.

If this kind of perception is not properly addressed by the Police & Judiciary, people will find it normal taking the law into their own hands knowing that they will not face the full rigours of the law as long as their party is in power.

This won’t be good for the government, our democracy, and definitely not good for the larger Ghanaian society.

Rose K.

For further details see: Reference

CITI FM, http://citifmonline.com/2017/10/19/delta-force-13-walk-free-after-paying-ghc23-400-fine/

Don’t Kill Illegal Miners

Don’t Kill Illegal Miners published on

Killing Is Not The Solution To Illegal Mining

Many people have died in the name of fighting illegal mining or galamsey recently, this is an inhumane approach that will not solve the problem. The approach is wrong and unsustainable.

In a democracy such as ours, respect for human rights, dignity of the human person and the rule of law is supposed to be the watch word for all public officials in their dealings with every single citizen, at all times and  in all places.

We are extremely worried about what is happening because we fear the following consequences:

  • The approach is unsustainable
  • It is creating loss of livelihoods and unemployment challenges without any ready remedy so far
  • It can lead to violent resistance by those directly affected
  • It can lead to the creation of rebel groups in affected mining communities in Ghana
  • Could also develop dire security implications for the whole country in future

Stand Ghana is calling on the government and the unti-galamsey taskforce to change their approach to a more humane one to avoid further loss of life and property.

We cannot enforce the law by killing violators or potential violators.

Protect Human Dignity

Protect Human Dignity published on

top2Special Focus On Human Life, Dignity And Worth

Do you know that Major Maxwell Mahama (the soldier killed by mob attack) had the power and means to defend himself but chose not to just to preserve human lives?  For me, it is beyond my limited human understanding. He had a gun on him but he didn’t use it on his attackers because he valued the dignity and sanctity of human life, no matter whose it was!  What a sacrifice!! May his soul rest in perfect peace!!!

Now, following the burial of our hero, Capt. now Major Maxwell Mahama earlier today, we must begin to learn the key lessons his sacrificial death was meant to teach us as a people. So then, “Never again” must not just become mere words that will vanish in few days.

It’s time to know that we are all born to be each other’s keeper – to defender and protector each other. It’s time to know we are obligated to respect and ensure the realization of the dignity and worth of others for our own peace and security.

The very first paragraph of the preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) made this quite clear. It states, the “RECOGNITION of the inherent DIGNITY and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world”.

All of us humans are “born free and equal in dignity and rights. We are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood” – so says article #1 of the UDHR.

All the legal provisions on human rights, such as: right to life, no torture, no discrimination, no slavery, no unfair detainment, right to trial, always innocent till proven guilty and others, all exist to give true meaning to the dignity and worth of each member of the human family, be it young or old, black or white, rich or poor, weak or strong.

Indeed one of the first human rights principles we teach young people in our human rights education programmes is the principle of Individual Responsibility in the defence and protection of the dignity and worth of every other person. We all have a duty to other people both individually and collectively.  We have a duty to protect the rights and freedoms of other people wherever and whenever the need arises, and we should always do so.

The good book, the Bible commands us to treat others as we would want to be treated. To do for others as we would want them to do for us (see Mathew 7:12). How can you look on while your fellow human being is being attacked without feeling the need to help in anyway? He who witnesses wrong doing and does nothing about it perhaps due to fear, is equally guilty of wrong doing.

So my humble advice to you is: don’t engage in acts of mob justice and lawlessness. Don’t incite mob justice against anyone. Don’t take the law into your own hands – you never know where it will land you. And above all, don’t be unconcerned about the suffering and plights of others. Always try to do something no matter how small, to stop injustice and wrong doing wherever it is taking place if it’s in your power to do so.

Let’s all decide to be there for each other and defend and protect the dignity and worth of human life wherever we find ourselves.

Post written by: Rosemary Kayi

 

US Refugee Travel Ban & Human Rights

US Refugee Travel Ban & Human Rights published on

A Very Problematic Ban

The issue of banning citizens of some specific Muslim countries from entering the United States of America (USA) is very problematic indeed, not fit for purpose, and only going to be counter-productive in the long run – something we should all be concerned about.

BAN
Photo from CNN

On Friday January 27, 2017, the new President of the United States of America, Donald Trump signed an executive order banning refugees and citizens of  certain origin “roughly 218 million people  from entering the United States”; mainly those coming from Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Iran and Yemen – and still counting.

This extremely controversial Executive Order has rightly sparked nation-wide protests in the US, and received serious condemnation across the world including a statement by the UN Human Rights Chief – Zeid Ra ‘ad Al Hussein who said “Discrimination on nationality alone is forbidden under human rights law” and that “the US ban is also MEAN SPIRITED, and wastes resources needed for proper counter terrorism”, and I agree with him on both points!

ZEID
Photo from United Nations

I personally consider it problematic because this is a human right issue which borders on discrimination based on origin and nationality – forbidden grounds for discrimination in human rights law.

According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) – Dec 10 1948, discrimination against any person based on his or her nationality is prohibited in article two of this all important human rights document.

Article 2 clearly states: “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.”

And, in article 14 of the UDHR, “Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.”

I strongly believe that this very article two which disallows discrimination is fundamental to the protection of the human rights of all persons; and is at the heart of creating a fairer and meaningful society for everyone.

I also consider this ban very problematic because America is often at the forefront of promoting the culture of human rights in other countries, even to the extent of punishing those who don’t want to comply. How then can we reconcile this ban with their stand on human rights?

I would like to remind Mr President Donald Trump that when it comes to the agenda of human rights promotion, he cannot pick and choose which rights to promote or not.

We should rather look for  better and workable solutions to global terrorism. This one is not fit for purpose.

 

Violence Against Women

Violence Against Women published on

Violence Is Wrong!!

ORANGEWomen of all ages, status and background continue to suffer violence either at work, home or even church. Not only is violence against women criminal and highly condemnable, to say the least, it’s also a huge obstacle to the achievement of gender equality, development and peace in every society.

That is why the UN has set aside 25th of every month as “orange day” – a day to raise awareness on Violence Against Women (VAW) and to take stock of actions being taken to combat it.

VAW manifests in physical, sexual, emotional and economic abuses. In Ghana, women and girls suffer diverse forms of violence including domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, emotional abuse, trafficking, stalking, acid throwing and many others.

As has been duly stressed by the Inter – Parliamentary Union,  “Violence against women and girls is a violation of human rights and an extreme form of gender-based discrimination. It may take many forms and is not limited to any culture, region or country, or to any specific group of women. It has enormous social and economic costs, and undercuts the contribution of women to development, peace and security, and human rights. It also poses a serious threat to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.”

When it comes to dealing with the issue of violence against women, many people wrongly focus only on physical abuses. But, women suffer many forms of emotional abuses which are as serious and harmful as physical abuses.

Remember, any attempt to isolate, control, insult or scare you is an abuse, and can negatively affect your emotional and physical well being if not properly handled.

If you are suffering emotional abuse today, there’s a high possibility that physical abuse will follow tomorrow. Do not tolerate or condone it.

By Rosemary Kayi

WHO IS PROTECTING OUR RIGHT TO LIFE IN GHANA?

WHO IS PROTECTING OUR RIGHT TO LIFE IN GHANA? published on

Metro Mass Transit: TOO MANY Accidents – TOO MANY Deaths

The recent fatal road accident involving a metro mass transit bus on Wednesday 17th of February, 2016  is one too many.  So far over 60 people are reported dead  and several others injured as a result of the accident involving a Metro Mass Transit (MMT) bus and a truck on the Kintampo – Tamale road.

We send our deepest condolences to those who have lost loved ones and family members in this accident.
But I dare say that sending condolences as everyone is doing, including the MMT company, President of the Republic of Ghana and other authorities is definitely not enough. What’s needed right now is how to find a lasting solution to the needless deaths that occur daily on our roads.

In particular, the activities of MMT Buses on our roads definitely need much to be desired – there have simply been TOO MANY accident cases involving buses from Metro Mass Transit Ltd.

We are appalled that things haven’t changed as at now considering the number of accident cases these buses have been involved in.  So the big question is, how long shall we look on whilst people die for no good reason? well, as far as we are concerned things cannot continue the way they are. We want to see changes in the operations of this company as far as safety and respect human lives are concerned.

According to information on their website, MMT was incorporated in March 2003 as a Limited Liability Company under (Companies code 1963 Act. 179) to Provide SAFE, affordable, efficient and reliable movement of commuters within metropolitan and municipal areas. Unfortunately, the safe aspect of their mission seems to be tragically missing.

We call on management of MMT to take a second look at the kind of training being given to drivers of these metro mass buses. We want all drivers at the MMT retrained and reoriented in terms of requisite driving skills and respect for people’s lives.

We also call on government to ensure Public Transport Drivers are the very best of all drivers in the country in order to give real meaning to our right to life.

BY:

ROSEMARY KAYI (EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR – STAND GHANA INC.  – Advocates for Human Rights and Social Justice)

 

 

 

 

 

International Day of Tolerance

International Day of Tolerance published on

Today November 16 Is International Day Of Tolerance

On the International Day of Tolerance,  we at Stand Ghana call on all friends, fellow citizens and all people everywhere in the world to show love and kindness not hatred toward others, and to treat others as you would like to be treated.

“People are naturally diverse” therefore, let tolerance prevail, let peace prevail today and always.

This call is particularly crucial at a time when the 2016 presidential and parliamentary election campaigns are about to start in Ghana. Please, let all campaigns be free from acts of intolerance and violence. Lets protect the peace and security of Ghana.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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