ActionAid Ghana 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.
As an organisation that has been working over the last 30 years to eliminate violence against women and protect women from sexual harassment and assault, we believe that this alleged breach of Sections 84 and 103 of the Criminal Offences Act 29, which deals with assault and indecent assault respectively, should be pursued with all seriousness and alacrity.
We have analysed statistics from the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DoVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service which indicates that as of August 2021, 31.9% of women have faced at least one form of domestic violence -physical, economic, psychological, social or sexual. These statistics are alarming and are indicative of the worrying prevalence of violence against women in the country.
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.”
Again, 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.
This incident of alleged sexual harassment and assault involving the police officer is a classic example of why the government of Ghana who is a member of the International Labour Orgnanisation (ILO) needs 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 is therefore calling on all women’s rights advocates, rightsholders and the Ghana Police Service to ensure that justice on this case is duly served.
About ActionAid Ghana- ActionAid Ghana (AAG) is an affiliate of ActionAid, a global justice Federation working to achieve social justice, gender equality and poverty eradication. ActionAid has been working to promote elimination of violence against women through its Zero Violence project. For interviews and further information on our work, contact Esther Ohenewaa Brown, Esther.Brown@actionaid.org or +233- 244940336.