Mr Speaker, I am not standing to talk about violence in elections.
When it comes to violence in elections, we were told by no other person than a former President that the other Side, NDC, has its history rooted in revolution and therefore, I cannot compete with them in talking about violence associated with elections.
Mr Speaker, I rise to talk about what my eyes saw in Parliament, on TV and on social media yesterday. My Hon Colleagues would agree that when it comes to court proceedings, it is not only the words, but one's actions, mannerism and behaviour are also considered.
Mr Speaker, relating to our Standing Orders, does what happened yesterday impute improper motive? It does. Was it imputing poor behaviour? It did.
Mr Speaker, yesterday, I saw a placard with the inscription “Bloody Widow” and that is my concern. First of all, we are demonstrating that we do not care about vulnerable persons. We are telling Ghanaians and the outside world that somebody in a vulnerable situation — to describe a widow as a “Bloody widow”.
Pick the “widow” first. Her status now
is a widow, whether they agree she is a widow or not, she is. She had five children with the late Hon Member of Parliament. In our tradition and statutes, customary marriage is legal marriage, so whether they like it or not, she is a widow.
Mr Speaker, this negative signal tells us that this House needs to go back to school to learn more about violence against women. This House passed a law on sexual and domestic violence against women. Abusing a woman is violence against her. They are intimidating her; they are not allowing the woman to express herself in Parliament.
This is a woman who has come out boldly to say, yes, I have lost my husband, but has come out to say that she wants to run and go in to continue with the work that her husband was doing. She should be praised and encouraged and not be labelled as bloody.
Mr Speaker, yesterday, we stigmatised the children of not only our late Hon Member of Parliament, Hon Agyarko, but we stigmatised Hon Lydia Alhassan and her late husband. We stigmatised their children. Their children would be laughed at in school.
People would insult the children that Parliament had placards indicating that their mother is a bloody widow, and we know that children laugh at these things.