Stories from Isaac Akwetey-Okunor
The Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF-Ghana), a pan-African network of organisations and individuals working in the interest of women, has advised the government to create and implement policies that oppose violence against women and children in the country.
The Communication and Advocacy Officer of WiLDAF-Ghana, Abigail Edem Hunu, disclosed that in order to reduce the high rate of domestic and non-domestic violence in the country, there is the need for the strong implementation of laws, policies and action plans on violence against women.
She made this disclosure during this year’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence campaign, which started from November 25 to December 10, 2016, and was observed at Adeiso, in the Upper West Akyem, which was supported by Oxfam and Crossroads International.
It was under the themes: ‘Orange the World: Raise Money to End Violence against Women and Girls’ and ‘From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Make Education Safe for All.’
The campaign seeks to raise awareness of gender-based violence, strengthen local networks, and create platforms for individuals and groups to lobby the government on the subject, since the prevalence rate of gender-based violence is on the rise, as unearthed by different national surveys, despite the government’s efforts in tackling this issue.
As part of solutions to help curb gender-based violence, WiLDAF again called on the government to speedily pass the legislative instrument to the Domestic Violence Act 2007, and implement the 2014 recommendations of the CEDAW Committee to Ghana.
WiLDAF believes that there are serious gaps in the national response to limit gender-based violence, despite the numerous governmental organisations established, such as Domestic Violence Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) and Human Trafficking Secretariat among many others.
In order to close these gaps, it has urged the government to urgently provide a national shelter for victims, survivors and those at risk of domestic violence, as they believe it would help solve the problem.
Aside the government, WiLDAF is encouraging development partners, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and corporate bodies to invest directly in women and girls, towards protecting them from violence and discrimination, and empower girls, through the provision of safe spaces in schools and in communities, to protect them from violence.
On this year’s elections, the pan-African network of organisations and individuals working in the area of women called on all key players in the election process to ensure free, fair and violence-free elections.