Only males can rape females: Ghana’s position ingrained in Socio-Cultural values – Criminal Law Lecturer

Only males can rape females: Ghana’s position ingrained in Socio-Cultural values – Criminal Law Lecturer

Is allowance instantly strangers applauded

A Criminal Law Lecturer at the GIMPA Law Faculty and private Legal practitioner, Dr Isidore Tuffuor has noted that Ghana’s position on rape per our Criminal Offences Act,1960(Act 29) which makes the offence gender-specific,  is deeply ingrained in the country's Socio-Cultural values.

Section 97 of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29) states;

Whoever commits rape shall be guilty of a first-degree felony and shall be liable on conviction imprisonment for a term of not less than five years and not more than twenty-five years.

Also, Section 98 indicates;

Rape is the carnal knowledge of a female of sixteen years or above without her consent.

In a discussion on whether it is time for Ghana to join the likes of Kenya in reversing the trend, Dr Tuffuor indicated that the nature of Ghana’s Socio-Cultural environment finds it difficult to accept as true and proper such reports as men being raped by women, thus it will be very pertinent to first consider whether the Nation is ready to reverse such dynamics per policy, in making rape a gender-balanced offence.

“If we want to make it rape and make it applicable to both men and women, then we need to change the definition. If in the case of Ghana we want to make it gender-specific, the question is, Ghana as a country, are we ready in terms of the policy to have that regime of law that seeks to also protect men the same way it protects women?

“In our cultural values, are we ready to accept an instance where a woman can be deemed to have raped a man? So the issue is not a simple one. It is one that is more ingrained in our socio-cultural values. How many men are ready to come out to say that their wives have raped them?”

On the penchant for the swift arrest of suspects by the police, the GIMPA lecturer blamed police prosecutors for being too over proactive sometimes in arresting people who are accused of committing rape or criminal offences in general. He however advised them to ensure that such cases are well investigated.

“Normally when there is a rape case, the police are supposed to investigate the matter. The issue as to prosecution taking place sometimes without the needed investigation being done is not just about rape cases.”

“We are in a country where the very little investigation is done before people are arrested. Ordinarily, when a person reports a case to the police or makes some allegation to the police, they are supposed to investigate and form a prima facie case before the arrest is made but in Ghana, it appears that our police are overly proactive to arrest giving little consideration to the investigation stage”