According to UN Women, one in three women worldwide experience physical or sexual violence, and only 40 percent seek help of any sort afterwards.
The annual international campaign 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence” aims to raise awareness on gender-based violence and calls for individuals and organizations around the world to unite for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.
The campaign runs from 25 November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day. This year’s theme for the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is “Orange the world: End violence against women now!”
Speaking at the launch of the campaign in Accra, UNFPA’s Country Director Mr. Niyi Ojuolape, indicated that, the United Nations wants to use this 16 Days of Activism against SGBV to draw attention to the issues of violence online. Disclosing that, online violence is real, but we hardly notice it. He therefore underscored the need for timely advocacy on it in order to avert the issue.
Mr. Niyi Ojuolape, further noted that, the issues of online violence could also suppress the rights of women to express themselves equally without fear, thus affecting their confidence and many other issues.
According to him, COVID-19 has worsen the risk of violence against women and girls due to the restrictions and protocols.
The Covid-19, has further widen the gap of gender stereotyping and practices of harmful social norms limiting the ability of girls and women to reach their full potentials and also limit the achievement of the SDG goal 5.
Speaking on behalf of the acting minister, Hon. Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Chief Director, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP), Dr. Afisah Zakariah, said the 16 days campaign is going to focus on women and girls because most of the time they are the victims.
To her, a lot of Ghanaians don’t know that when a child is not up to the age to marry and you force her into marriage, it’s a form of violence and it needs a lot of effort to educate the society on that.
She explained that, “Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) refers to any act that is perpetrated against a person’s will and is based on gender norms and unequal power relationships. … Violence includes threats of violence and coercion”.
The Chief director stated that, her outfit will go to the community levels to make sure they engage stakeholders, opinion leaders and then traditional leaders so that they can understand what constitutes violence against women and girls.
Dr.Afisah Zakariah, further said the Ministry is working on reviewing and updating the domestic violence and it’s legislative instrument as well as the National Domestic violence policy to include new and emerging reforms and actions which will help fight the situation in the country.