Let Us Treat Our Women With Decency

The hypocrisy is stunning; Ghanaian society, especially in the northern regions, have always treated our women -- our grandmothers, mothers, sisters and aunties with disdain and utter contempt. We assault and abuse them with least regard for their basic fundamental human rights. Yes, we throw human decency overboard when it comes to dealing with our women.

Last week we celebrated the International Day of Rural Women, who ironically, bear the brunt of the crass and despicable behavior displayed by men towards women. Because of their social and financial circumstances, rural women continue to toil under harsh conditions without access to adequate healthcare, decent and humane accommodation and economic opportunities.

And to make matters worse, poor and vulnerable women are constantly the victims of an absurd and outdated practice so pervasive that it condemns families to periods of agony, fear and doubts.

Oftentimes, when an elderly woman is falsely accused of witchcraft and condemned to a lifetime of untold hardships in a lonely witch camp, somewhere in a remote area, far removed from civilization, northern society looks on as if that poor woman is a hardened criminal deserving of the humiliation meted out to her by a group of uncivilized and lawless young men.

In fact, when these sad events occur, we shamelessly go about our business, our daily lives as if the lives of those women are worthless. SURE ENOUGH, laws have been enacted to stop the illegal treatment of women falsely accused of taking someone else’s life spiritually.

But these laws are not enforced because wider society does not care for the simple reason that the women who are being humiliated and banished from societies they have lived in all their lives are not our grandmothers, mothers, sisters, or aunties.

We in the north should be embarrassed and bow down our heads in shame by the way we treat our women; we have become the laughingstock of the country. Suffice it to say we have lost the moral ground to justifiably cry about discrimination by southerners because we lack the common decency to respect our women, treat them like co-equal partners.

And for once can we abandon the foolish notion that an elderly woman can sit in her room and spiritually take someone’s life? It is just not helpful to still hold on to an idea that is outdated and old as Methuselah.

The whole notion of accusing women of witchcraft and the blame game that ensues is turning science on its head. And you know what? those who are quick to level those frivolous charges against women for being witches are the first to run to the hospital to seek medical attention when they fall sick. They sure don’t run to their spiritual advisers.

It is about time authorities enforce laws enacted to prevent our women from being outrageously accused of witchcraft. Someone ought to tell these young men that we live in a modern world driven by science and technology.

And that world definitely has no place for people still trapped in the 17th century with old fashioned ideas.

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