Addressing recent comments made by Otiko Afisa Djaba, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection during a speech and prize giving day at Krobo Girls Presbyterian Senior School, Jessica recounted how she was once threatened with rape.
Minister Otiko Djaba attracted the wrath of Ghanaians last week when she cautioned students against wearing short dresses in order not to attract rapists.
“In conclusion, 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 minister stated.
Jessica however didn’t share in the minister’s comments narrating a personal experience several years ago.
”This issue of rape I feel has been around for too long and we play with it a lot and this is a personal experience and this happened many many years ago, when I was in Madina, that’s where I grew up. I lived very close to a school and there used to be a lot of boys who would go and play football because there was a park in front of my house. I remember there was one day when I was walking pass a bunch of boys and they started catcalling and I didn’t respond and I remember one of them say in Twi [If you don’t respond we will rape you]. And trust me I was dressed like a Tomboy, in my jeans and all.”
Jessica further expressed her frustration about the issue of rape attributing it partially to male domination.
”It comes back to male domination, if you don’t do what I say…then I can do x and y to violate your body.”
“So that’s unfortunate some of the realities we have to live with but hopefully with conversations like this we can begin to change perceptions and effect change because sometimes it is heart breaking and until it happens to a sister, cousin or someone close to you, you wouldn’t feel the gravity of it,” she explained.
The Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection in a subsequent interview last week justified her comments insisting that her caution was one any mother will give to her daughter.
“It was a strong advice from a mother to her children. I wasn’t in anyway encouraging rape with my comments. I have daughters and if they dress in a certain way and they are going out, I call them and ask them to change it or wear another clothing over what they are already wearing,” Otiko Djaba argued.
Co-hosts Chantelle Asante and Akosua Hanson, together with guest Celebrity Fanzone fan Dr. Ewura Adjoa Nunoo, were all on the show last Saturday and were very critical of the Gender Minister’s rape comments.
Celebrity Fanzone now airs every Saturday, 9pm on GH One TV.