November 12, 2020 4:24 am
In the quest to leverage in-depth knowledge and understanding of harmful cultural practices and abuses to proffer practical approach for addressing gender inequalities, sexual and gender-based violence(SGBV) and harmful cultural practices that affects the lives and dignity of individuals and society, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection has engaged fifty-five(55) traditional authorities from the Western, Greater Accra, Eastern and Volta Regions of the country on 12th November, 2020 in Ho.
This is to find a lasting solution to the unsubstantiated harmful cultural practices, sexual and gender based violence including witchcraft accusations and gender inequality.
It is the Ministry’s strategic objectives of promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment, child protection, social protection and rights of the vulnerable as part of the Ministry’s commitment to promoting inclusiveness in all aspects of the country’s development process.
The Ag. Director for the Department of Gender, Mrs. Thywill Eyra Kpe reading a statement on behalf of the Chief Director of the Ministry, Dr. Afisah Zakariah said most human rights violations are perpetuated under the guise of cure and tradition of which the traditional authorities are custodians.
She said it is therefore important for the Ministry to dialogue with them in order to find lasting home grown solutions to these issues and to produce a comprehensive framework that can be adopted against Gender inequalities, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and Harmful Cultural Practices in Ghana to create a safe and secure society for all.
The Ag. Director for the Department of Gender also stated that in line with the Ministry’s mandate they are working assiduously to end all negative cultural practices, stigmatization, enhance the quality of life of people and protect the vulnerable and marginalized in society against human rights abuses.
According to Mrs. Thywill Eyra Kpe, most of these abuses are targeted at women, girls and the vulnerable in society which unfortunately results in various degrees of human rights abuse.
She assured participants of the Ministry’s commitment to work together with all stakeholders to end all negative cultural practices, stigmatization and enhance the quality of life of people to protect the vulnerable and marginalized in society against many of human rights abuses.
The objectives of the workshop were as follows:
1. To sensitize traditional and religious leaders to be involved in the discourse to improve women and girls’ safety, their physical and mental health, economic security, human rights and legal protections and overall well-being.
2. To equip traditional and religious leaders with knowledge on existing laws on harmful cultural practices and educate them on the negative impact of these practices on development in order for them to support the abolishing of such practices by enforcing the existing laws.
3. To engage traditional and religious leaders to be champions in promoting and protecting the rights and general well-being of women and girls and promote gender equality.
4. To end stigmatization of women as witches and developing a framework to guide in protection of alleged witches.
At the end of the workshop, it is expected that participants would be:
• Informed to contribute to awareness creation and advocacy through exemplary leadership in upholding the dignity and rights of women and girls by abolishing negative cultural practices
• Committed to support the enforcement of laws against harmful cultural practices
• Develop a communique to stop stigmatization and violence against women through witchcraft accusations.