ON CHILD TRAFFICKING, SHE SAID THEY HAD SUCCESSFULLY PROSECUTED AND SECURED THE CONVICTION OF 23 OFFENDERS AS THE GOVERNMENT UPPED EFFORTS TO ERADICATE THE PHENOMENON.
Mrs Cynthia Mamle Morrison, the Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister, has waded into the raging debate on the “Sex for Grades” documentary, saying, sexual harassment anywhere is wrong, and should be roundly condemned by every well-meaning Ghanaians.
She said it was wrong for any man to sexually harass or rape any women for wearing sexually provocative dress.
“WE ALL KNOW IT IS NOT A GOOD THING, NOT ONLY IN THE UNIVERSITIES OR CHURCHES, BUT EVERYWHERE - EVEN IN THIS ROOM…A MAN SHAKES YOUR HAND AND SCRATCHES YOUR PALM, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? “HE SEES YOU AND HIT YOUR BUTT…WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?...SO EVERYWHERE IT HAPPENS…WHETHER IN THE CLASSROOM, WHETHER IN THE OFFICE, WHETHER IN THE CHURCH, IT IS WRONG,” SHE SAID.
“We all know it is not a good thing, not only in the universities or churches, but everywhere - even in this room…a man shakes your hand and scratches your palm, what does that mean?
“He sees you and hit your butt…what does that mean?...So everywhere it happens…whether in the classroom, whether in the office, whether in the church, it is wrong,” she said.
Mrs. Morrison was responding to a question during a media encounter in Accra on Wednesday on the BBC’s Africa Eye investigative piece on the University of Ghana and Lagos University in Nigeria, She said how anybody chose to express their personality should not excite sexual fantasies.
She added that it would be difficult to enforce dress code in tertiary education institutions because it was the fundamental human right of any Lady to decide what to wear or the kind of attire to wear for lectures.
One could adopt a nice approach in addressing the issue and spoke of instances at the Gender Ministry where she had personally approached some Ladies who had worn “sexually suggestive dresses” and advised them to change to a more decent outfit.
On child trafficking, she said they had successfully prosecuted and secured the conviction of 23 offenders as the government upped efforts to eradicate the phenomenon.
Under the Ministry’s “Operation Get Off the Street Now for a Better Life” programme, the data of 2,374 street children had been collected from 45 hot spots in Accra, out of which 180 street children were identified and profiled and 167 provided with support.
The Minister said there was also a mentorship programme for 100 girls’ working as advocates for Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health Rights, Sexual and Gender Based Violence, Teenage Pregnancy and Child Marriages in selected schools
Besides, the Ministry had made available medical equipment and supplies to the Mafi-Dove Health Centre in the Central Tongu District of the Volta Region.
The facility, a community initiative, is helping to tackle centuries-old traditional belief that did not allow pregnant women to give birth in the town.