The Widows and Orphans Movement (WOM), a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) has condemned the behaviour of the Minority Members of Parliament during the swearing-in of Madam Lydia Seyram Alhassan, the new MP for the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency.
A statement, signed and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Bolgatanga by Ms Fati Abdulai, the Executive Director of WOM, described the incident as unjustified, unacceptable, inappropriate and an insult to all widows in Ghana and the world over.
On Tuesday, February 5, the Minority MPs in Parliament staged a walkout holding placards with discriminatory inscriptions while the new MP was being sworn in.
“The Widows and Orphans Movement (WOM) do condemn the unsavory write-up on the placards that our honorable MPs in the minority chose to use in their protest during the swearing-in of Lydia Seyram Alhassan in parliament on the 5th of February 2019,” the statement said.
“We wish to state categorically that we do not support the violence that took place at Ayawaso West Wuogon during the by-elections and continues to ask for justice to be served.”
The WOM stated that Ghana had formulated laws, including the Domestic Violence Act and the Legislative instrument and the 1992 Constitution, and had ratified other international laws and conventions, such as the Maputo Protocol to eliminate all forms of violence against women, yet the rights of women continued to be violated, especially by the same MPs who facilitated the passage of these laws.
“It is worth pointing out that violence against women and girls includes verbal and emotional abuse, which makes their actions wrong. Their action is an abuse to widows and to humanity in general, and those whom we have entrusted to safeguard the rights of all should know better.
“We, therefore, call for an unqualified apology from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Parliamentarians
“We equally call on the leadership of the NDC, all political parties, the Christian Council, the Muslim Council, the Peace Council, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Development partners and all well-meaning Ghanaians to condemn this act.”
The WOM, a non-profit NGO operating in Northern Ghana, works to promote gender equality and economic empowerment of widows and orphans as well as working to end violence, injustices and negative socio-cultural practices against widows such as widowhood rites.