The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) has condemned sexual harassment and exploitation of women following the allegations against President of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA).

A Canada-based Ghanaian lawyer, Kuukuwa Andam, has accused the President of GBA, Anthony Forson Jr., of raping her.

Mr Forson denies the accusations, however, a formal criminal police complaint has been made against him in Washington DC, USA, by Ms Andam.

FIDA says “assuming but not admitting that such acts occurred, FIDA-Ghana…takes great exception to such acts and totally condemns all forms of sexual harassment and exploitation of women in general and particularly against female lawyers Ghana by their male colleagues.”

“’Violence against women is understood as a violation of human rights and a form of discrimination against women and shall mean all acts of gender-based violence that result in or are likely to result in, physical. sexual, psychological or economic harm or suffering to women including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public in private life and such perpetrators are mostly known to these women.”

The Federation wants the Ghana Bar Association and the General Legal Council to institute a committee to investigate such serious allegations against lawyers.

Read the full statement below.

 INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF WOMEN LAWYERS (FIDA) GHANA)

The attention of FIDA-Ghana has been drawn to the serious allegations levelled against the Ghana Bar Association President, Tony Forum and Mr Selassie Fumey by Kuukuwa Andam, a lawyer domiciled in the United States of America. 

Miss Kuukuwa Andam’s allegation is that both lawyers took advantage of her and raped her whilst she was doing her pupillage at the Legal Aid Offices in Accra and also at a hotel in Washington DC.

Assuming but not admitting that such acts occurred, FIDA-Ghana as an association of female lawyers, advocates against gender-based violence and takes great exception to such acts and totally condemns all forms of sexual harassment and exploitation of women in general and particularly against female lawyers in Ghana by their male colleagues. 

“Violence against women” is understood as a violation of human right and a form of discrimination against women and shall mean all acts of gender-based violence that result in or are likely to result in, physical. sexual, psychological or economic harm or suffering to women including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public in private life and such perpetrators are mostly known to these women. 

FIDA Ghana will like to appeal to all female lawyers and particularly all women in Ghana who by one way or the other has suffered such fate and continually do same to report such acts to the right fi authorities or to the offices of FIDA Ghana and their issues will be addressed appropriately. 

We also wish to reiterate the fact that…we should be cautious about our utterances and avoid victimizing the victim or stigmatizing the aforementioned lawyers until investigations are conducted. 

We would also like to appeal to the Ghana Bar Association and the General Legal Council to institute a committee to investigate such serious allegations against our colleagues at the Bar.

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