I was sickened to read that the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection in Ghana, Otiko Djaba, had the audacity to say that wearing short dresses attracts rape. She was speaking at the 90th Anniversary event at the Krobo Girls Presbytarian Senior High School, when she urged male teachers to stop sexually abusing young girls. At the end of her speech she closed by telling the girls that wearing a short dress attracts rape.
“If you wear a short dress, it’s fashionable but know that it can attract somebody who would want to rape or defile you. You must be responsible for the choices you make”. Otiko Djaba
How can she say that wearing a short dress can attract somebody who wants to rape? That is one of the most ignorant statements anyone can make when it comes to the issue of rape and sexual violence. All too often when it comes to the issue of rape, the victim is blamed for the actions of the rapist. Her behaviour and what she wears is often scrutinized as justification for the evil actions of the rapist. For Djaba to make such a statement shows she has no understanding about this issue, no real concern for the rights of the victim, nor should she be in a position of Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection.
Many Ghanaians took to social media when her statements were made and expressed their anger and even calling to have her removed from the position.
— EstherArmah (@estherarmah) March 26, 2017
“Women get raped b’cos they wear mini skirt” is a lazy statement that ignores the societal & psychological factors behind such a heinous act
— Mac-Jordan 🇨🇦🇬🇭 (@MacJordaN) March 27, 2017
One woman or girl CANNOT be held responsible for the actions of millions of men/boys. EACH person should be responsible for own self. #Ghana
— Jemila Abdulai (@jabdulai) March 27, 2017
— Klenam (@Fkoku) March 27, 2017
— georginaadotey (@G_Nevalost4Word) March 27, 2017
I read a story in the Telegraph about a convicted rapist who admit that he didn’t have much of a conscious and that when he raped it wasn’t about the victim, but about himself. He said, “I did it because it was exciting. It was a buzz. It gave me a certain feeling of power over that person.”
Men who rape often do it as a form of power. They typically have a strong sense of anger towards women. It can happen to babies, children, elderly women and every age in between. It doesn’t matter what she looks like or what she is wearing, if a rapist wants to attack he will. There are Muslim women who are fully clothed and are also raped. What’s Djaba’s explanation for that?
I think that Otiko Djaba should be removed from her position. Someone with that kind of opinion is only further pushing an agenda that is not supportive of women, victims or human rights.