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13.01.2006 Politics

NETRIGHT condemns alleged assault on Essiam

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Accra, Jan. 13, GNA - The Network Women's Right in Ghana (NETRIGHT), a women's advocate nongovernmental organisation, on Friday condemned the alleged assault on Ms Frances Essiam, former National Organiser of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), at the Party's National Delegates' Congress in Koforidua in the Eastern Region in December 2005.

"This has the potential of discouraging ordinary citizens, especially women from seeking greater social justice through participating actively in politics and other decision-making process and structures," it said.

A statement signed by Ms Dodzi Tsikata, Outgoing Convenor of NETRIGHT, said the Organisation was particularly concerned that in the attempts to build a strong democratic culture, there were still incidents of violence and intimidation in party politics. It stated that the important role of women in politics had well been recognised at the highest international decision-making level and Ghana was signatory to several regional and international agreements and conventions, which made it obligatory to ensure women's increased representation and active participation in politics.

The statements said the numbers of women, who managed to break through socio-economic and cultural barriers to enter active politics remained extremely poor, making it imperative that all political parties adhered to the highest standards of democratic practice to ensure that women joined and remained in politics.

It said there was the need to promote gender equality, transparency and to reach consensus on key internal issues of concern so as to avoid the act of discouraging and condoning a culture of violence by any party.

The organisation, therefore, urged the NDC to show its adherence to internal party democracy by investigating the allegation and disciplining the perpetrators while condemning the alleged assault of Ms Essiam.

The organisation also urged all political parties and all Ghanaians to work hard to promote dialogue, tolerance and peace as a key to ensure democracy, human security and social justice for all.