Action Aid Ghana (AAG), a Non-Governmental Organization with a focus on social justice, is alarmed by the prevalence of violence against women in the country.
According to the AAG, an analysis of statistics from the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DoVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service indicates that as at August 2021, 31.9% of women have faced at least one form of domestic violence, be it physical, economic, psychological, social or sexual in nature.
This comes on the back of the arrest of General Lance Corporal Victor Antwi Yeboah, who violated the dignity of a woman in a video that went viral on social media.
In the said video, the Police Officer was seen in a car sexually harassing the woman whose name has been withheld.
A statement subsequently issued by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Kwasi Ofori, condemned the officer’s “shameful and despicable act” as he apologised to the victim and the public.
Describing the prevalence of violence against women as “worrying and alarming”, ActionAid Ghana said it “has been keenly following proceedings on the alleged sexual harassment case involving a police officer in Sunyani in the Bono region and wishes to commend the Ghana Police Service for taking swift actions to ensure the law is enforced and safety of Ghanaians especially women is protected”.
Also, a December 13, 2021 statement said that, it is unfortunate that this case has been recorded at a time that the world is observing this year’s 16-Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.
“John Nkaw, Acting Country Director said, “ActionAid Ghana is concerned about the increasing rate of violence, harassment and assault against women and girls. It is even more worrying that such incidences are sometimes perpetrated by officers who are mandated to protect people and indeed should be the vanguard of the on-going campaign against sexual harassment and other forms of gender-based violence”, the statement read further.
Citing the alleged sexual harassment and assault involving the police officer as an example, Action Aid therefore urged Government of Ghana, who is a member of the International Labour Orgnanisation (ILO), to take immediate steps to ratify the ILO Convention 190 which seeks to end violence and harassment in the world of work.
“We believe that Convention 190 which is a first international treaty to recognize the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment, including gender-based violence and harassment will provide better protection for Ghanaians and address the gaps in some of the country’s existing legislative and policy frameworks on violence and harassment.”
ActionAid finally charged all women’s rights advocates, rightsholders and the Ghana Police Service to ensure that justice is duly served regarding the alleged sexual harassment involving General Lance Corporal Victor Antwi Yeboah.