The African Women Lawyers Association (AWLA) has called on stakeholders to adopt and increase strategies to ensure protection of the girl-child and women in Ghana.
The Organisation is worried that due to the upsurge of the cost of living in the country, there is a rise in sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), hence the need for parents to give maximum protection to the girl child.
A statement issued by the Association, signed by Ms Edna Kuma, the Executive Director, urged stakeholders to take action to avert the situation because poor girls and women were likely to become victims in the crisis.
The Association observed that the pandemic had also induced the high rate of teenage pregnancy, child-marriage and school drop-out cases.
AWLA commended the efforts of many donors that helping to curb SGBV in Ghana, in the collective quest to ensure gender equality and inclusive national development.
“AWLA is eternally grateful to Oxfam in Ghana and the European Union (EU) partners’ Enough Project that is contributing to the fight against SGBV through funding support to Ghanaian Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs),” the statement said.
The statement said as a result of support from the Enough Project, the women’s rights organisation had been able to mobilise and sensitise stakeholders and basic school pupils participating in the fight against SGBV in the Techiman South and Kintampo North Municipalities in the Bono-East Region, to train them on the mechanisms to curb the crisis and efforts to deal with the situation.
It said the government should, as a matter of urgency, ensure that the Domestic Violence Support Fund (DV Fund) was operationalised by allocating and disbursing it through the Ministries of Finance and Gender, Children and Social Protection.
This will ensure that survivors of domestic violence receive medical care, and are able to secure signed medical reports which form the basis for seeking justice for buses they suffer.
“We should not be oblivious of the fact that justice for survivors will serve as deterrence for abusers and reduce violence against women in line with Ghana’s quest for gender equality, and sustainable development,” AWLA stressed.