The Network for Women’s Rights in Ghana (NETRIGHT) has raised concern over the manner in which the Accra Metropolitan Assembly is handling the relocation of petty traders at the Novotel Market in Accra.
“We are outraged at the brutalities meted out by the police to the women who have relocated to the Odawna Pedestrain Shopping Mall,” it stated, in a statement issued on Monday and signed by its Convenor, Akua Britwum.
“It expressed horror and dismay at what it called “such inhumane and atrocious cruelty,” pointing out that “these women are Ghanaian citizens even if they are not the original traders, they have a right to decent space to market their wares.
Netright said much as it does not condone lawlessness, it is imperative to note that the manner in which the relocation exercise is being carried out would lead to loss of livelihoods of the women, most of whom are breadwinners of their families.
“This will lead to an increase in the unemployment rate and perpetuate the already high levels of poverty in the country,” it pointed out.
According to the NETRIGHT, the AMA’s action showed a misfit between the reality as a country and official economic and social policy, which it said would result in a consistent criminalisation of poor women who, in their bid to create livelihoods, had been made to fall on the wrong side of what is considered lawful.
The network also touched on what it says is “the tension between the Greater Accra Regional Minister and the Mayor of Accra,” saying it was would even create more conducive to the resolution of the problems already created by the actions of the AMA and the police.
It has consequently called on the President to intervene in the dispute, especially in settling the differences between the Regional Minister and the Accra Mayor, pointing out that the “Better Agenda” does not work to exclude women who are contributors to the development of the economy.
In the meantime, it has urged the AMA to immediately stop the police from “brutalizing the women” and allow then to settle and sell at the Odawna Pedestrian Market, as well as ensure the expansion of the Odawna Market to accommodate more traders.
It called on the AMA to improve on the conditions at the market
Further the NETRIGHT asked the Accra Mayor and the Regional Minister to settle their differences in order to find a lasting solution to the issue.