June 24, 2020 3:50 pm

The Domestic Violence Secretariat under the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection with support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is organizing a two days sensitization workshop programme on 24th and 25th June, 2020 at Agbogbloshie and Madina Markets for some selected leaders of two markets, staff of the Ministry and key stakeholders to play the role of paralegals.

The training programme is meant to enhance their capacity as paralegals to enable them play their role in response to issues of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) among members of the general public.

This was necessitated as a result of gaps in the areas of accessibility to the right places of reporting since the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) is not situated everywhere in the country. This is also coupled with the lack of courage by survivors to report due to lack of fear and stigmatization.

The delay in responding to cases and resolving them creates a big gap that impedes the access to justice. It is for these reasons that Domestic Violence Secretariat, UNFPA and the President of International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Madam Afua Addotey is training some key people on SGBV issues.

According to the Ag. Executive Secretary of the Domestic Violence Secretariat, Madam Malonin Asibi, the Ministry felt the need to cite the centres at the Agbogbloshie and Madina markets so victims of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence can have the opportunity to access the facilities and report such cases to the trained paralegals.

She said this will also help to bring services for such cases much closer to the public especially to those at the selected markets and to help speed up access to justice.

Madam Malonin Asibi added that cases of SGBV will be recorded at the facilities situated at the markets and the DV Secretariat will also follow up on the reported cases for onward submission to the appropriate quarters where they will be addressed promptly whilst minor cases may be resolved by the paralegals.
She therefore called on all to support the Ministry to fight such disturbing issues.

The President of FIDA, Madam Afua Addotey who is the resource person for the two-days training programme said there is the need to engage more men and the entertainment industry on SGBV.

She added that it is important to do so because they will be able to better understand their frustrations and the various instances that leads to domestic violence in their various homes.

According to Madam Afua Addotey they also have to frequently engage the Entertainment Industry so they scrutinise some of the movies they show which may contain violent acts since this may have a rippling effect on most families in general.

According to her they have to be mindful of other people’s rights so they do not trample over them in order to live in peace.

The participants discussed the general overview of the Domestic Violence Act and Rights under the Chapter 5 of the 1992 Constitution.

Participants were drawn from the following; The Ghana Health Service, The Department of Social Welfare, Department of Community Development, Selected Market Executives, The Municipal Assembly of Agbogbloshie and some staff of the Secretariat of the Ministry.

Source: MoGCSP