20.04.2005 General News

Do not legalise prostitution - Women

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Accra, April 20, GNA - A number of concerned women on Wednesday condemned the recent call by the Director-General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, Professor Awuku Sakyi Amoah for the legalisation prostitution as a measure to check the spread of the HIV virus. The women said legalizing prostitution, a profession, which they said demeaned the dignity of women, would not only be absurd but an act of irresponsibility.

"Prostitution may be the oldest profession but it is not noble.... It dehumanises women and promotes that age-old destructive stereotyping that brands women as mere sex objects," the Reverend Dr Dora Bortey of the Living For El-Shaddai (LIFE) and Spokesperson for the women, told a press conference in Accra.

Women groups including Women Aglow for Christ; Women in League; Women's Federation for World Peace; Ghacoe Women's Ministry; Women Missionaries of the Union of Baptist Convention; Millennium Christian Women Network and the Daughters of Destiny were present at the conference.

The women said the HIV/AIDS pandemic could be fought through other means.

The battle, they said, could be fought through preaching abstinence and giving the prostitutes skills that could help them to earn a living. To legalise prostitution means, "the very moral fibre of this country is under serve attack.

"There are those who would want the good people of Ghana to call evil good and good evil and who want to put darkness for light and light for darkness. This is nothing but a reversal of morality and indicative of an inability to make moral distinction," Dr Bortey said. She said if there was one cultural practice and standard that needed to be upheld it was the refusal to regard prostitution as an acceptable practice.

"Which full blooded Ghanaian male would publicly and proudly announce that his wife, daughter or sister is a prostitute?" Prostitution, the women said, was servitude and those who have found themselves in this unfortunate trade attest to it because they would rather be involved in other income generating trades and professions.

"Legalization of prostitution would not only affect women but our children, men, families and the nation as a whole. We, therefore, say emphatically and unapologetically that, as God is our witness we will not stand idle and watch as our youth, families and the nation are led down the path of destruction.

"Giving prostitution names like commercial sex workers does not in any way dignify the trade. The Ghanaian womanhood is too noble," Miss Joyce Aryee, founder of Salt and Light Ministries, said. "God wants the Ghanaian woman to be a model of moral rectitude for the coming generation. No woman should be consigned to a life of humiliation and servitude", Ms Aryee said.

She said prostitution was a deviation from the right and should not be condoned. Mrs Cecilia Campbell, Pastor, Evangel Church of Ghana, said it was unfortunate that some well-meaning people in society should be advocates for such a demeaning profession like prostitution. "God should cause unrest in their hearts until they repent and are forgiven."

The Reverend Charlotte Opoku Addo, National Director of Ghacoe Women's Ministry, said, "what prostitutes need is transformation" and called on nongovernmental organizations and the Government to help them to earn a decent living. "Legalization is not the answer," she said. Mrs Gloria Lamptey, Vice President of the Federation for World Peace, said if legalization of prostitution was such a noble thing, then murder and armed robbery should also be dignified and legalized.

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