Gender advocates condemn political hate speech
4/24/2012 4:30:21 PM -
Accra, April 24, GNA - Gender Advocates from Upper West Region on Tuesday condemned the flagrant use of hate speech which has characterised the political environment as the nation prepares towards the sixth consecutive general election in December.
'We are worried as mothers and women over the increasing cases of violence and hate speeches which are gradually gaining momentum in our national politicking.
'We call on the Government and all political parties to desist from making hate speeches and to conduct their political activities with a high sense of civility and decorum to safeguard and protect the peace of the land,' Mrs Abiba Nibaradun, Executive Director of Centre for the Promotion of Democratic Governance (CENPRODEG) stated in a statement.
Speaking at a Regional Women Election 2012 Peace Forum at Wa, Mrs Nibaradun noted that democracy was truly exercised when the electorate were knowledgeable and well informed about options to make an informed choice.
She regretted that most of the citizenry living in deprived rural communities particularly in the Upper West Region were largely unaware of their civic and political rights and that women participation in the democratic process in the Region had largely been passive.
The CENPRODEG Executive Director stated with great concern that, a large number of women in the Region still did not have the free will to vote for their preferred choice of candidates.
She added that majority of women reported that they mostly voted based on the dictates of their spouses or male counterparts.
Mrs Nibaradun said it was time for women to freely and independently exercise their franchise without fear or favour. She called on women in the Region to remain resolute and committed to fight for peace and the participation of women in the democratic process.
Alhaji Amidu Sulemana, Upper West Regional Minister pledged government's commitment to protecting and maintaining peace in the Upper West Region and the nation as a whole.
He noted that the Government recognised the immense contribution of women to the socio-economic and political advancement of the country. "Government fully supports the concerns of women and would endeavour to protect the prevailing peace in the country."
Alhaji Sulemana assured the women that the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) government would 'play it fair' in the upcoming electoral process.
He, therefore, called on all parties including the media to conduct their activities in a manner that would respect the laws of the land and safeguard the peace.
The forum was organised by CENPRODEG in partnership with STAR-Ghana, a multi donor organisation, with funding support from the European Commission, DFID and USAID.
About 120 women representatives, political party activists, civil society organisations and the media attended the forum which discussed the role of women in fostering free, fair, participatory and peaceful general elections.
CENPRODEG in partnership with STAR-Ghana has also commissioned a participatory study to develop a local regional women elections manifesto to serve as a tool for women to engage the various political parties and aspiring candidates.
It will set the agenda for issue based campaigning to deepen the participation of women in the democratic process.