Over the weekend, I followed with keen interest, reactions to comments attributed to the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Cynthia Morrison at the launch of the 2019 edition of the Miss Ghana Pageant by organizers, Exclusive Events. Mrs. Morrison was reportedly said she was unhappy with how some people have sought to tarnish the image of the Miss Ghana brand and will ensure only the positives are spoken of now that she “is involved”.
Chief Executive Officer of Exclusive Events
Our dear Minister’s vociferous support for the Miss Ghana pageant and Exclusive Events gives me grief. I would have ignored the reports, were it an ordinary member of the public. But this was our Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, tasked to, among other things, protect the vulnerable and weak in our society, yet is passionately defending an organization that has been shrouded in much controversy over allegations of exploitation of vulnerable young women who described the Miss Ghana pageant as a glorified “prostitution ring” with its head, allegedly acting as a “pimp”.
In 2018, three past winners of the Miss Ghana contest granted ghanacelebrities.com a series of interviews detailing instances of alleged verbal and emotional abuse against their persons by the Chief Executive Officer of Exclusive Events, Inna Patty, who hold the Miss Ghana franchise.
Miss Ghana 2010, Stephanie Karikari, Miss Ghana 2013, Giuseppina Nana Akua Baafi and Miss Ghana 2015, Antoinette Delali Kemavor also described in detail how they were allegedly used as sexual bait and financially exploited, while their prize packages and entitlements were denied them. A fourth, Miss Ghana 2017 Margaret Dery, also resigned some eight months into her reign, citing similar reasons. Worthy of note is that Inna Patty and her Exclusive Events companies deny these allegations and are currently pursuing the matter in court.
Dear Minister, what has the Gender Ministry done about the allegations leveled against the organizers and its Chief Executive Officer? It is worrying that you not only endorsed the pageant but equally pledged government’s support for an organization of alleged dubious repute.
And of what critical benefit is a non-essential like a beauty pageant to us, when the Domestic Violence Fund and the Ghana National Social Protection Policy Bill are crying for your attention?
I couldn’t help wonder if this singular declaration of support may have silenced a group of young women who may forever lose their courage to speak up against predatory pageant organizers. And other victims of abuse as well, because it cements the assertion that the high and mighty never do any wrong in society and no one will listen to you should you dare to take such on.
Away from this, you did also tell Pressmen on January 27 2019, that the missing Takoradi girls were alive and were soon to be reunited with the families. Instead of taking up a role unofficially as the PRO of the Miss Ghana Pageant, could you kindly lend your star power towards ensuring our girls are brought back safely?
There are many things in our society needing your attention and that of your Ministry. A beauty pageant isn’t one, neither is it priority. Let’s get serious!
ABOUT THE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE FUND
The Act states in Section 29: Establishment of Fund "There is established by this Act a Victims of Domestic Violence Support Fund."
that the Fund shall be applied;
(a) towards the basic material support of victims of domestic violence,
(b)for training the families of victims of domestic violence,
(c) for any matter connected with the rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration of victims of domestic violence,
(d) towards the construction of reception shelters for victims of domestic violence in regions and districts, and
(e) for training and capacity building of persons connected with the provision of shelter, rehabilitation and reintegration.
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