Sexual harassment goes beyond BBC expose–Gender Minister

The Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Mrs Cynthia Morrison has called for a broader discussion on issues of sexual harassment since it is not a phenomenon limited to tertiary schools in the country.

According to her, issues of sexual harassment went beyond the recent expose’ by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), which sought to implicate two lecturers of the University of Ghana (UG), Legon and it was appropriate that the discussions went beyond what happened in our schools.

“We all know it is not a good thing and for both boys and girls, it is wrong. It happens not only in the universities but everywhere. Even in this room, a man shakes you and scratches your hand and what does that mean? He sees you and hits your butt and what does that mean? We cannot do that to men when we meet them, so everywhere it happens, whether in the classroom, whether in the office, whether at home or anywhere it is wrong,” she emphasised.

Mrs Morrison who was addressing the media at the Meet-the-Press series organised by the Ministry of Information in Accra yesterday, said sexual harassment was an everyday occurrence which did not take place only in our schools.

She said the recent happenings presented all of us with the opportunity to discuss and find resolutions to the problem once and for all, stressing that “I will not concentrate on only what happens in universities. Even in the media, if you are here and you’ve hit somebody’s butt before, it is wrong, if you’ve scratch somebody’s palm before, it is wrong.”

She said “starting from the media, our boys and our husbands and everybody, we are speaking to the whole country, it is wrong to do that. If you are interested in a girl, propose to her and if she is interested she will accept and if she doesn’t accept, move on and find another one.”

Touching on initiatives undertaken by her outfit over the last few years, she said the School Feeding Programme currently provided one hot and nutritious meal for 2,663,134 pupils in 8,683 public basic schools. 

She said in fulfilment of Sustainable Development Goal Two (2) “End hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture”, the Ghana School Feeding Programme organised series of training sessions for over 5,711 caterers in the Northern, North East, Savannah, Upper East and Upper West regions.

Mrs Morrison said the beneficiaries were trained on standard measurements and practical innovative nutritional requirements for the preparation of meals for the school children with the objective to improve the nutritional value of meals served to pupils.

Furthermore, she said the ministry, as part of the training donated eating bowls and spoons to some selected schools, adding that “It is worth knowing that, all outstanding caterer arrears for first and second terms of 2018/2019 academic have been paid.” 

Under the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme, she said three (3) cycles of cash grant payments to beneficiaries had been made to a total of 1,428,460 extremely poor beneficiaries.

By Cliff Ekuful

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