Feature Article of Thursday, 27 September 2012

Columnist: Nyarko, Afia

Do we need to watch how a quack doctor lured and raped girls?

I am still coming to terms with the fact that a pornographic video material is still being shown on a Ghanaian news channel online as something being described as ‘massive’ investigation. When I read it for the first time, it was four days into its publication. I made both verbal and written complaint for it to be re-edited or blocked as the site is not x-rated for adult contents only. No reply has been heard through phone, email or social network sites. It continues to be broadcasted on that news channel online. I see it as disgusting, unacceptable and derogatory to all the victims.

I am not here to blame the women who went there; neither will I subject them to further emotional trauma for their actions. I am not going to judge them. It is their body; they made that choice and will respect that.

Let me mention abortion being legalised to make it safe for our women who want to make that choice and the sexists and hypocritical religious followers will tremble like it is the first sin entering this world. Women are exposed to so many negative images, comments, and expectations. They are being judged for the tough choices they make, experiences they go through and non-conformity as to how they should live their lives. As our Ghanaian society is dominated by men in decision-making and headships of most institutions, women such as those poor girls don’t have the support of the society regardless of odds against them.. Instead of such an important case being investigated, enquiry set up, counselling and health checks being given to them; they are being portrayed in a negative manner.

Of course, we do not need to watch that ‘exposed’ pornographic video and dirty piece of work. There are three reasons why I think that video should not be broadcasted.

Firstly, these women have suffered, both emotionally, psychologically and physically enough for their actions. That video reminds them, of the trauma they all went through and its subsequent effect. To breach the privacy of the women and all those in the video shows gross ethical misconduct and negligence. No consideration or conscience being exercised as to how they are still dealing with their harrowing experience.

Secondly, the channel is for public viewing and therefore should not show x-rated or pornographic material. One should ask, will screen shots or pictures of such videos be printed in the papers such as Daily Graphic which goes to all institutions irrespective of the age-group?

Lastly, it reinforces dangerous myths of blaming women for getting themselves raped or making a choice to abort unwanted pregnancy. In other words, condoning the behaviour of perverts, rapists and misogynists.

That publication is not news. It is sickening to show off in reality how girls have been raped or how a pervert subjected his victims to trauma. It doesn’t happen on a news channel in a developed world whether online or in print.

Afia Nyarko




I hope to hear from you soon.

Kind Regards

A. Nyarko