November 25, 2020 2:46 am
The Domestic Violence Secretariat under the auspices of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in collaboration with the European Union, UNFPA, WilDAF, OXFAM and other partners have organised a media launch and symposium on Wednesday 25th, November, 2020 at the GNAT Hall, Accra to commemorate the 2020, 16 Days of Activism Against Sexual and Gender Based Violence.
The campaign which runs every year from 25th November to 10th December was under the theme: “Accelerate Action to Prevent SGBV in the Wake of COVID-19 : The Role of Sustainable Funding”. The 16 Days of activism is an international campaign to fight violence against women and girls.
The Head of the Domestic Violence Secretariat, Madam Malonin Asibi, in her opening remarks said violence against women and girls can be seen as a pandemic that affects all nations and cultures. Therefore, dealing with it cannot be an event but a process, since attitudes and cultures cannot be changed overnight.
According to her, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection see the need to use the 16 days of activism to engage the public in order to increase awareness and to also strengthen partnership in the fight against SGBV.
The National Programmes Officer of Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF), Madam Melody Darkey admitted that the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic and it’s consequences have contributed to an increase in SGBV whiles limiting access to services.
She therefore called on state actors, private sector actors, civil society organizations, traditional, religious and political institutions to be more responsive to act and also prevent Sexual and Gender-Based Violence.
The Head of the UN Gender Team, Madam Ifeoma Charles-Monwuba acknowledged that violence against women and girls is one of the world’s most prevalent human violations taking place every day in every corner of the globe. This she said has serious short-term and long-term physical, economic and psychological consequences on women and girls, preventing their full and equal participation in society.
She announced that the Ghana survey on domestic violence found that 27.7% of Ghanaian women had experienced at least one form of violence.
In addition, 38.2% of women aged between 15-19, 40.4% aged between 20-24, and 38.3% of women aged 30-39 reported having experienced at least one act of sexual violence.
The Head of the UN Gender Team called on stakeholders to rally around the global theme to end all forms of discrimination against women and girls whiles pledging the United Nations support to address SGBV in all its forms.
In her keynote address the Chief Director for the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Dr. Afisah Zakariah said investing to create safe spaces for women and girls cannot wait any longer especially in the wake of COVID-19. Violence against women and girls according to her have been compounded by the second wave of the pandemic of COVID-19 which has thrown the entire world into confusion on how to care and protect their populations.
She announced that the Ministry within the campaign period will engage with the Ministry of Health and the National Health Insurance Scheme to discuss the long-standing issue of medical bills to survivors of SGBV.
Dr. Afisah Zakariah called on all especially the media to use their platforms to educate the general public on the negative implications of SGBV on the survivor, their families and the society at large.
The Chief Director thanked all partners for their immense support in the fight against violence in Ghana.
As part of the launch, there was a panel discussion on Sustainable Funding to Prevent and Respond to Issues of SGBV.