Otiko Djaba’s Rape Comments: Gender Minister Under Fire after Shifting Blame To Victims

Otiko’s rape comments seem to have taken people’s mind back to the ugly scenarios, where female rape victims are subjected to horrible stigma by the public who misjudge their predicament.

Minister for Gender and Social Protection, Otiko Djaba has earned herself a medal of criticisms after making some controversial rape comments, which urged girls not to attract rape by wearing provocative clothing.

The Gender Minister at the 90th Anniversary/Speech and Prize-giving Day for Krobo Girls Presbyterian Senior School, implied that girls’ wearing of short dresses could attract rapists. According to her, in the bid to look stylish and fashionable, girls tend to dress indecently, which in some cases lead to sexual assault or 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.

The Gender Minister also bemoaned the trending menace of teachers having sexual relations with their students; acts which have led to high rate of teenage pregnancy in the society. Madam Djaba stressed that such illicit act is an abuse of the rights of the girls. Teachers she said, should be role models to their students who look up to them.

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Otiko’s Rape Comments Backlash 

Otiko's rape comments

However, Madam Djaba’s comments on rape did not go down well with Ghanaians. The words and the implication by the gender Minister, that women are responsible for rape has drawn significant condemnation from the public.

Otiko Djaba really came under intense criticisms from Ghanaians who have regarded her comments contradictory, to what her position ought to stand for. Many have taken to social media to express their displeasure with the Gender Minister, with a number of them questioning her logic and others accusing her of victim blaming.

Otiko’s rape comments seem to have taken people’s mind back to the horrible scenarios, where victims of rape are subjected to intense stigma by the public who misjudge their unfortunate situation. Many a time, victims of rape are often stigmatized especially by women, for being the causes of their plight.

Some go as far as tagging such women sluts and other demeaning names which end up killing and burying the self-esteem of these rape victims. For this reason, victims of rape tend to hide their ordeal from the public, for fear of being blamed for the entire incident.

This is why Otiko Djaba’s rape comments have been regarded abominable, for a gender and social protection minister. Abominable and unacceptable in the sense that, a gender minister who is supposed to protect women’s rights now turns around to encourage victim shaming, by implying that girls are sometimes responsible for being raped.

Some Ghanaians have called on President Nana Addo to remove her from her position as her comments suggest women are responsible for preventing rape. Though it cannot be ascertained if Madam Djaba made the comments out of ignorance, calls have been raised for proper sanctioning of the minister.

This makes it the second time Otiko Djaba has provoked the wrath of Ghanaians. It can be recalled that her delay in condemning the violent sexual attack on a woman assaulted in Kumasi also angered many Ghanaians.