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Education is the key to eliminating poverty in Northern Ghana – Chief Inspector Niabi

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Girls Meetup

The Station Officer of the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) at the Upper West Regional Command of the Ghana Police Service, Chief Inspector Stella Niabi has said that education is the key to breaking the chains of poverty in the northern part of Ghana.

She was speaking in Wa over the weekend at a Girls Meetup, a quarterly meeting of young girls, facilitated by Community Aid for Rural Development (CARD Ghana) as part of the She Leads program it implements, with support from Plan International Ghana, in the Upper West Region.

Addressing the topic of sexual harassment, Chief Inspector Niabi advised the young girls to be confident and assertive in all their dealings and never succumb to the whims of men and boys.

She told the girls that it was only education which could take them far in life to achieve their dreams and become responsible people in society.

She added that the girls should not mince words in telling boys and men who make advances at them that “their place is the classrooms and not the bedrooms of men.

“Because for us in Northern Ghana, Upper West Region, to break that poverty cycle, it would be the education of the girls for a sustainable development,” she said.

Chief Inspector Niabi further admonished the girls to look out for such luring triggers as men regularly sending them and offering them unsolicited gifts, complimenting them needlessly, among others in order to stay safe.

The She Leads Project Coordinator and Acting Executive Director of CARD Ghana, Ms. Ernestina Biney said the purpose of the Meetup was to sensitize the young girls to sexual harassment and to help them to develop confidence and assertiveness in dealing with issues of harassment.

She urged the girls to be open-minded and feel free to report any issues of sexual abuse that they encounter in their communities and schools.

She noted that the Meetup also coincided with the commencement of the 16 Days of Activism which marked a period of advocacy against sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and urged the girls to be active part of the campaign.

Ms. Biney hinted that CARD Ghana would engage in capacity building activities to strengthen the girls and young women (GYW) networks it was working with to stem up their advocacy to meet the desired milestones and also to sustain the groups beyond the project duration.

Some of the girls who participated in the session expressed their views and their take home messages in an interview with Info Radio.

“And what I learnt again is to stay away from men and boys just for me to get a better future. I want to become a journalist, so if I don’t stay away from boys and bad friends now, I wouldn’t be getting to achieve my dreams and future.

“I will tell them [friends] to stay away from men and bad friends and the bad advice that they’ve been giving to them. Some people always sleep with men because of 10 pesewas chewing gum and some of them, 2 cedis, so I would like to advise them to stay from the men and bad friends,” a participant, Rahima Yahaya said.

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