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To All Women

To All Women published on

Value Your Rights

Do not take your human rights and the need to know them lightly. In addition, don’t take the fight for gender equality as if it doesn’t concern you.

A very important fact we should understand clearly is that most of the rights and freedoms that we women in most parts of the world enjoy and take for granted today – such as voting, owning our own property or signing contracts by yourselves, for yourselves, going to school and many others were fought for by fellow women who refused to sit unconcerned about the plight of women in society at the time.  

But the fight for bringing into reality the human rights of all women is very far from over, as too many women and girls continue to suffer poverty, discrimination and violence is society.

Despite the adoption of CEDAW (Convention on Elimination of all forms Discrimination Against Women) and other human rights instruments on women, the reality is that many women are still being trafficked into prostitution, enslaved in the name of culture, raped in the name of culture, declared witches and either killed or isolated, suffer sexual harassment at work, labeled prostitute if they dare to stand for political office and so on.

We should not be unconcerned about these challenges. Let’s try to do something to bring a change no matter how small.

Women’s Right Education @ Oyibi
Women Learning About Their Human Rights

We have a responsibility to do our part. No matter where we find ourselves, we have a responsibility to stand up for the rights of vulnerable and marginalized women and girls.

We have a responsibility to speak out against injustice, discrimination and abuse against other women and girls in our households, communities and the larger society.

We have a responsibility to fight and stop all forms of violence against women and girls at home, at work and in the community.

We have a responsibility to refrain from joining those who abuse or maltreat other women in the name of culture or religion.

To do the above, we all have a duty to educate and inform ourselves about women’s rights issues so that we are empowered and in a better position to defend ourselves and protect other women.

AREAS OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN IN THE PAST

  • Women were not allowed to vote Married
  • Women were maltreated or even killed when their husbands died
  • women were legally nonexistent in the eyes of the law
  • Women had to submit to laws when they had no voice in their formation
  • Married women had no property rights
  • Husbands had legal power over and responsibility for their wives to the extent that they could imprison or beat them with impunity
  • Divorce and child custody laws favored men, giving no rights to women
  • Women had to pay property taxes although they had no representation in the levying of these taxes
  • Most occupations were closed to women and when women did work they were paid only a fraction of what men earned
  • Women were not allowed to enter professions such as medicine or law
  • Women had no means to gain an education since no college or university would accept women students
  • With only a few exceptions, women were not allowed to participate in the affairs of the church
  • Women were robbed of their self-confidence and self-respect, and were made totally dependent on men

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

Great Women of Ghana

Great Women of Ghana published on

Thumbs Up to Ghana’s Women Attorney Generals

Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong 1Thumbs up to two of Ghana’s illustrious women – Former Attorney General, Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong; and current Attorney General Ms Gloria Akuffo for the crucial roles they played in the successful resolution of the maritime dispute between Ghana and Ivory Coast at the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in Hamburg, Germany.

Ivory Coast accused Ghana of trespassing in their maritime space in the Atlantic Ocean where Ghana’s oil exploration and drilling activities are located, a claim Ghana denied and so took the matter to the ITLOS after several attempts at coming to mutual understanding failed.

We are extremely happy that the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) on Saturday 23, 2017, ruled in favour of Ghana stating that Ghana did not trespass into Ivory Coast’s Maritime area – plus the fact that Ghana even gained further maritime space than previously.

We commend the fact that instead of war, the former attorney general and the government of Ghana chose the path of peace by sending the matter to the ITLOS.

This legal option does not only ensure that the brotherliness and peaceful co-existence between the two nations is not compromised through violent conflicts, but also brings finality to the dispute.

It is also gratifying to note that the team of lawyers and experts that won victory for Ghana was led by two powerful women, first, by the former attorney general and later by the current one following a change in Government – this is great for gender equality .

GH Legal TeamThis goes to prove the fact that women are not only “equally human”, but equally competent and equally brave like their male counter parts.

Indeed, women all over the world continue to play crucial roles in the development of their societies, and many more women can play even greater roles given the opportunity to develop themselves and serve their nations to their fullest potentials.

What the legal and expert team achieved for Ghana is no small feat. They saved the nation billions of dollars in investment and much more – a loss would have been extremely devastating for our economy.

National Awards

We therefore call on the government to honour these brave women publicly with the highest award of the land to show our appreciation for their effort.

Government must also redouble efforts at closing the gender gap in all sectors of the Ghanaian society to promote gender equality in reality.

This will in turn serve as a source of inspiration to other women and young girls to aspire to greater heights in their chosen fields of endeavour,

Written By: Rose K.  of Stand Ghana Inc.

Human Rights Awareness Talk for Women

Human Rights Awareness Talk for Women published on

Promoting Women’s Rights In Ghana

2017-08-29 035Stand Ghana on Tuesday, 29th August 2017, organized a very successful Human Rights Awareness Talk for two women’s  groups of St Charles Borromeo Church at Oyibi in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana on the theme: Importance of Women’s Rights & Responsibilities in Ghana.

The main objective for organizing this programme was to increase awareness about women’s rights in the community, promote gender equality and to empower the women to be able to claim their basic rights more effectively.

The programme was well attended by over 40 women from St Theresa of The Child Jesus Society & Christian Mothers Association; who were very pleased to be afforded the opportunity to learn about their basic human rights and to have some of their pressing human rights issues addressed.

Women are regarded as the pillar of every progressive society. Yet, most Ghanaian women lack basic knowledge about the content of the fundamental human rights accorded them in the 1992 Republican Constitution of Ghana and how to enjoy them. As a result they continue to suffer all kinds of abuse and discrimination on daily basis.

Human Rights education for women in Ghana therefore becomes a critical necessity if we are to improve the well being and safety of our women.

 

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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

No Protection for Elderly Women In Ghana

No Protection for Elderly Women In Ghana published on

Time To Protect The Most Vulnerable

Mother’s day was recently celebrated in Ghana and the world over and rightly so. This is because our mothers are very special to us; they toil so much for us, guide and protect us, give selfless love and contribute enormously to the progress of society in diverse ways. Sadly however, our investigations reveal that majority of mothers are not getting the proper social and economic protection they desperately need to live decent lives, especially in their OLD AGE.

Whilst much work has so far been done regarding the promotion of the rights of women generally, it is quite evident that much of the focus has been on the rights of wives and the needs of younger women to the neglect of elderly ones. As a result, several elderly mothers continue to suffer terrible discrimination, marginalization and vulnerability in Ghana; so, sending them messages of goodwill once a year on mothers’ day, though admittedly fitting, is certainly not enough to improve or sustain their well being

For instance, it has come to our notice that many elderly mothers are cheated out of what is lawfully due them in the share of their deceased children’s estate.

This situation is unfair and unacceptable given the huge sacrifices most mothers make, including spending all their earnings and time for their children in the hope that they will in turn take care of them in their old age. So if the unfortunate happens that their son or daughter dies before them, the least the state can do for them is to make absolutely certain that the little that is lawfully due them is not appropriated by their daughters in law or sons in law or any other person for that matter.

We believe that elderly women and for that matter elderly mothers need more attention and protection than their younger counterparts since the elderly are physically weaker and extremely vulnerable due to the effects of old age. Because of their weak state they can no longer work to cater  for themselves or put up any serious challenge against those who abuse their rights or cheat them.

But instead of supporting them, the opposite happening, as a lot of elderly mothers are branded witches and others abandoned by the state to their fate and even by their own children whom they toiled so much to bring up.

This situation requires urgent attention and solution. It is time to change the way things are done. The state (particularly, SNIT and the courts) needs to put concrete measures in place to ensure their protection and the advancement of their basic human rights. Until this is done, elderly women will continue to be abused, cheated and neglected in the communities.

One way to do this will be to take immediate action regarding how the interstate succession law is implemented, by  making sure monies that are due them is given directly to them rather than handing their share to other people, especially their in-laws.

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY published on

Celebrating The Ghanaian Woman

We congratulate all women on occasion of International Women’s Day celebration today, March 8, 2016. We celebrate the women of Ghana for their relentless effort and hard work to keep this nation going stronger and better.

Happy International Women's Day to every woman
Happy International Women’s Day to every woman

Today Ghanaian women are found in all sectors of the economy – both formal and informal. Just like Madam Love above who is a business woman, retailer, hair dresser, mother of five and a wife; Ghanaian women are engaged in multiple businesses and jobs just to keep the home, children and the entire society in better shape.

However, despite the crucial roles our mothers, wives, girlfriends and sisters play on daily basis, women, both young and old continue to be discriminated against, abused and a huge proportion completely excluded from decision making processes in all spheres of life. Gender equality is still a worthwhile aspiration. Let’s Step It Up for Planet 50/50 and for gender equality.

Congratulations from Stand Ghana Inc. to all women of Ghana and of the world. You are all great! Continue to work hard, fight for your rights and promote the rights of the girl child to make this world a better home for everyone.

By: ROSEMARY KAYI (Executive Director of Stand Ghana Inc. )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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