ActionAid calls for elimination of violence against women and girls

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Ho Social Actionaid Workshop
Ho Social Actionaid Workshop

ActionAid Ghana has appealed to the Chiefs, Queenmothers, religious leaders, youth, and assembly members to help eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls for the rapid development of the country.

Women and girls are the most vulnerable in society as they are exposed to all forms of violence including, but not limited to, domestic violence, child marriage, forced marriage, sexual violence, and harassment.

Madam Agnes Afua Obour, Co-ordinator, Network of Communities in Development (NOCID), a Kadjebi-based non-governmental organisation, said this on behalf of ActionAid Ghana at a day’s workshop organised by ActionAid Ghana in partnership with NOCID for Chiefs, Queenmothers, religious leaders, youth, and Assembly members at Kadjebi in the Oti Region.

The activity aimed at educating the participants on Laws, Acts and Conventions against the act to help curb the menace.

Madam Obour said any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to results in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to her, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of their liberty whether occurring in private or public should be condemned.

She said instead, there was the need to encourage them to express their feelings when they were in difficult, scary and confusing situations as a show of love and affection.

Mr. Eric Arthur Fynn, Kadjebi District Director of Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), said the 1992 Constitution, Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29), Juvenile Justice Act, 2006, Children’s Act, 1998 (Act 560), among others prohibited child marriages.

He said in line with Section 15 of the Children’s Act, 1998 (Act 560), “any person who contravenes a provision of this Sub-Part commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding [GH₵500:00] or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding one year or to both”.

Mr. Fynn, named poverty, tradition and culture, lack of awareness, gender discrimination, among others as some of the causes of child marriages in Ghana.

He said the act violates the fundamental human rights of the girl-child, so must stop.

The CHRAJ District Director, who also presented a paper on Laws governing Inheritance in Ghana, said both Wills Act, 1971 (Act 360) and the Intestate Succession Law, 1985 (PNDCL 111) contained provisions that are fixated on ensuring that the rights of children to proprietary and financial claims are salvaged if they lost a parent.

He advised the participants, especially the traditional rulers, to follow the provisions in the Act and the Law in distribution of deceased property, whether dead estate or intestate.

Daasebre Oduro Guranim, Paramount Chief of Dodo Traditional Area, in contributing, called for stiffer punishment against perpetrators of violence against women and girls to serve as deterrent to others.

He also called for the amendment to the Children’s Act, 1998 (Act 560) as penalty for contravention therein is not deterrent enough now.

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