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Establishment of women shelter and legal protection for the aged needed – Professor Tina Abrefa

Prof Abrefa Gyan

Prof Abrefa-Gyan advocates establishment of “women shelter” and Legal Protection for the Victims of Gender-based Violence

Professor Tina Abrefa-Gyan, a Politician and renowned Gender Activist on Tuesday advocated for the establishment of both social and legal interventions to cater for the survivors of gender-based violence, especially for the aged in society.

She observed many aged women in the Ghanaian society experienced worst forms of human rights abuses and violations clandestinely, and it was time the nation shoulder the responsibility to uphold and defend their human rights dignity.

“I think Ghana has gone far in our development process. We need a shelter that will cater for the basic needs and make life comfortable for our aged women in society”, she said.

In an interview with Prof Abrefa-Gyan, who is the Vice-Chair of the United States branch of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) condemned the gruesome murder of the 90-year-old woman at Kafaba in the East Gonja District of the Savanah Region.

The deceased, Madam Akua Denteh was accused of witchcraft and lynched by some unidentified people in the town.

Describing the sad incident as unfortunate, barbaric, and shameful to womanhood, Prof. Abrefa-Gyan, urged police to intensify search, apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators of the heinous crime.

She observed the crime was the worst form of human rights abuse and a “slap on Ghana’s rule of law”, saying under no circumstances should perpetrators be left unpunished.

“This barbaric act goes contrary to the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, an international treaty adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1979 which Ghana has ratified” Prof. Abrefa-Gyan indicated.

The lynching of this 90-year old woman also flouts the International Violence against Women’s Foreign Policy by the United States.

“Personally, I was part of a team in Washington DC’e Capital Hill that lobbied for the adoption of the International Violence Against Women’s Act (IVAWA) in 2008.

The Bill was co-sponsored by the then Senator Joe Biden, the immediate past Vice President of the USA, and currently the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee and his colleague.

“Yet, victims of gender-based violence experience a plethora of obstacles to achieving justice despite the implementation of this US Foreign Policy which aims at addressing gender-based violence. Such obstacles often include, but not limited to, the absence of legal protections, lack of adequate knowledge of their rights on the part of victims, poor access to legal services, and the prevalence of untrained paralegal or biased legal practitioners.”

“This innocent woman has been tortured to death for no apparent reason. Justice is the only remedy that will make her departed soul to Rest In Peace. Until justice is met, posterity will judge us all”, she said.

“We are therefore calling on the police administration to swift investigations, arrest and ensure that the perpetrators of this heinous crime are made to face the full rigours of the law”, she added.

Story by Nana Boateng

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