Amnesty International Ghana, in collaboration with the Ghana Education Service (GES), has launched a project aimed at ending Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV) in junior and senior high schools in the Eastern Region.
The project, rolled out in New Juaben North and South municipalities, seeks to raise public awareness on issues constituting sexual violence in schools and how to identify such acts.
It also aims to create a victim support system to handle matters of sexual harassment in the schools.
Sixty students (including boys) and 20 teachers were selected from five senior and junior high schools and taken through training to become focal persons for the crusade.
Mr Samuel Agbotsey, the Campaign and Fundraising Coordinator, Amnesty International Ghana, in an interview with the GNA about the scheme, said a similar one had already been launched in universities and other tertiary institutions.
One of the most vulnerable groups, who suffer SGBV in Ghana, are girls in schools and reports abound of teachers and male students being the main perpetrators.
However, Mr Agbotsey said in many instances, such cases went unreported, adding: “Even when reported they are not properly dealt with.”
He attributed the trend to the lack of support systems to address school-based sexual violence, which largely contributed to limiting the confidence of girls to report such incidences.
To address the rising trend of sexual abuse, he said schoolboys had also been chosen to participate fully in the project as ambassadors to champion ending sexual violence in schools.
Mr Agbotsey expressed the belief that the move would ultimately shape boys’ understanding of the need for gender balance in Ghana’s socio-economic development process.
The SGBV project is part of a broad campaign championed by the international rights body in both tertiary education institutions and basic schools in Ghana with funding from the French Embassy in Ghana.