Mrs Benedicta Tenni Seidu, former Director, Girls Education Unit, Ghana Education Service, has advised victims of sexual and gender-based violence, especially students, to report all forms of abuse to the authorities for redress.
She said the school had a reporting pathway for such victims and expressed concern about situations where victims failed to report cases of abuse due to societal norms, stigmatization, and threats.
Mrs Seidu said this on Thursday at a seminar and the launch of a campaign on 16 days of activism organized by the Foundation for Security Development in Africa (FOSDA) in collaboration with Oxfam.
The Programme is on the theme of “16 Days of Activism, Gender Transformative Education; A Tool Ending for Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV).”
“Activism” is an annual international campaign used as a mobilization strategy by individuals and organizations to advocate for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.
Mrs. Seidu said the government in 1997 created the Girl’s Education Unit in the Ministry of Education to champion gender-based education in the country.
She said the Unit sensitized schools, teachers, and students on gender issues and the need for both sexes to respect and see each other as partners.
The former Director said the unit had put in place punitive measures to ensure that victims of gender-based violence faced the full rigors of the law.
”A teacher in a school environment cannot have an amorous relationship with a student. It is against the school rule, and anybody caught will be punished,” she said.
She said the punitive measures were instituted because gender-based violence affected children emotionally, psychologically, and physically, making it difficult for them to concentrate on their education.
Ms Theodora Williams Anti, Executive Director, FOSDA said the organization was dedicated to advancing human security, with the goal of promoting Gender Transformative Education (GTE) to end SGBV and protect women and girls from all forms of violence.
She said the GTE aimed to transform stereotypes, attitudes, norms, and practices by challenging power dynamics, rethinking gender norms, and raising awareness about the underlying causes of inequality and oppression.
Ms Anti said the GTE taught boys to respect women and not to perpetuate violence against them’
The programme also involved men and boys in the promotion of gender equality.
“A transformative education is measured not only by its ability to change, but also by the quality of its pedagogy, responsiveness, inclusiveness, and equity,” she said.
Mr Kofi Asare, Executive Director, Eduwatch Africa, called for a comprehensive policy on gender transformative education to address all issues related to sexual and gender-based violence.
He called on civil society organizations and the public to continuously engage authorities to sustain the impact of gender transformative education.