NPP, PPP, DWM Condemn Attacks On Ursula Owusu
5/15/2012 10:44:49 PM -
The women’s wing of two political parties and the 31st December Women’s Movement (DWM) have condemned the attack on the aspiring parliamentary candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for Ablekuma South, Ms Ursula Owusu, by alleged National Democratic Congress (NDC) supporters in the Odododiodoo Constituency in the Greater Accra Region last Wednesday.
According to the General Secretary of the DWM, Ms Sylvia Ahorlu, the movement had learnt with utmost disbelief the barbarous act meted out to a female political office aspirant and her male colleague, a venture that should have been discouraged.
“The president and executives of the DWM condemn the atrocious and disappointing attack against Ms Owusu, the NPP parliamentary candidate for Ablekuma South, and Samuel Abdulai Jinapor at Kantamanto,” she stated.
“We believe this act of violence meted out to Ms Owusu and others is an affront to women in general and against the constitutional rights of all Ghanaians,” she said.
Ms Ahorlu said the DWM had, over the years, worked tirelessly to empower women at all levels to be part of the decision-making process and if today the few women (8.3% to be exact) in politics were being harassed, attacked and discouraged, then those efforts had been rendered fruitless.
“We are calling on all human rights organisations and Ghanaians of all political persuasions to condemn these acts of violence in no uncertain terms. We call on the government to bring the perpetrators to book as a matter of urgency. This act of violence against women should not deter our efforts but rather strengthen our resolve for higher laurels,” she added.
The National Women’s Organiser of the NPP, Madam Otiko Djaba, has also asked President Mills to address the violence that has characterised the ongoing biometric voters registration process.
She wants the President to walk his talk on ensuring peaceful elections in December 2012.
She was commenting on last Wednesday’s incident at a registration centre in the Odododiodoo Constituency where Ms Owusu is alleged to have been attacked by unknown thugs.
According to Madam Djaba, that kind of development was a disincentive for other women who wanted to venture into politics.
“In a country where we complain of low number of women in our Parliament, we should be speaking against such horrible incidents in which well intentioned women in our politics are physically abused and humiliated. It will scare others from taking up positions in public service and the NDC government should endeavour to guard against that after failing to deliver on its promise of putting 40 per cent of women in government,” she said.
She said the President had made commitments to major international bodies to ensure a peaceful electioneering but was yet to demonstrate that resolve in Ghana.
She threw a challenge to the ruling NDC to also ensure that its supporters desisted from perpetrating any acts of violence against their opponents.
“A violent election was likely to subvert the will of the people and as a peace loving nation we must guard against that,” she said.
She called on the police to also demonstrate fairness in dealing with such reported cases of violence linked to the registration process.
The Women’s Wing of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) is also monitoring with keen interest the alleged attacks and brutalities meted out to Ms Owusu by some marauding thugs believed to be ardent followers of the NDC.
“Our interest in this matter is greatly bedded on the fact that an attack on one woman is an attack on all women and we wish to use this platform to raise some pertinent issues with regard to this development,” it said in a statement signed by Ms Evelyn Osafo, a member of the PPP’s Women’s Committee.
It stated that after a careful examination of what triggered the molestation of “one of Ghana’s finest woman in politics, we in the women’s wing of the PPP will seize the absolute platform to condemn the action of the NDC supporters who decided to unleash severe beatings on
Ms Owusu, instead of being civil and following the due process”.
According to the statement, the party did not see why women should be violated only on the basis of monitoring the ongoing biometric voters registration exercise, an act that discouraged women from involving themselves in politics.
It admitted that though there were conflicting reports on Ms Owusu’s conduct, there was no absolute justification for her thrashing at the polling station by those NDC boys.
“Against this backdrop, the PPP Women’s Wing is urging the Police Administration to, as a matter of national importance, institute full-scale investigations into what transpired between Ms Owusu and the NDC boys.
“We believe it is the EC, together with the security agencies, that is to take the necessary measures to address the acts of violence which are gradually creeping into our body politic, especially those against women,” the statement stressed.