Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF) in collaboration with Care International Ghana has organised a Town Hall Meeting with school clubs on how to end Sexual and Gender – Based Violence (SGBV).
The purpose of the meeting was also to engage boys and stakeholders on how
to access justice and deliberate on the best practices to deal with rape culture.
The theme for the Town Hall meeting is, “16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence Campaign: End Sexual Violence and Rape in Private and Public Space in Ghana Now”.
Ms Mercy Sika Krowo, a representative, Care International Ghana, speaking at the meeting, said the organisation had outlined four key strategies on how to involve men and boys to end rape culture and other SGBV.
She asked key stakeholders to address the root causes of SGBV in order to solve such cases.
Ms Sika Krowo said, individual voices could be strengthen or empowered so that victims of SGBV could fight for their freedoms and rights without fear.
She added that the creation of healthy relationships would be needed to support Gender Base acts .
The existence of accountable institutions could be built to generate free and fair conversations between stakeholders and victims on the cases of SGBV and other assaults, she added.
Dr Nicholas Addae Mensah, an Official of the Ghana Health Service(GHS), said harming women was tantomount to harming the society because they formed the majority of human societies therefore men and boys should be encouraged to desist from rape culture and other sexual violence.
He added that, every year about 200 million women globally became victims of SGBV, entrapping most women in both psychological and emotional trauma. Reports show that three out of ten women in Ghana have suffered SGBV, including emotional pains and depression.
Dr Addae Mensah urged the media to highlight more insightful stories on rape culture and empower victims to seek help and justice.
He encouraged health workers, churches and community leaders to play an effective role on the fight against rape and other sexual violence by making follow ups on such cases.
Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Rosemary Vortia, Divisional Commander Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit(DOVVSU)Weija , said men and boys could be engaged to end rape culture if they are well sensitized on issues of consent and that victims should also report perpetrators to authorities without fear.
She advised that the young ones must share their experiences and challenges with their parents, teachers and guardians for support whenever they faced economic violence, psychological violence and sexual abuse.
ASP Vortia encouraged both young boys and girls to use the social media for educational purposes and research and not for watching immoral activities.
Madam Melody Darkey, National Programme Coordinator WiLDAF, said there would be the need for state stakeholders, including DOVVSU , Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) to engage boys and men in the fight against rape culture.
She said, violence against women and young girls was very primitive hence the need to end it.
Madam Vivian Susu Dzikunu, Senior Principal Officer, Public Education Department for Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), said the Commission would be always support victims of SGBV and protect them before handing over such cases to DOVVSU.
The Town Hall meeting with Schools and Clubs brought together 35 School Club members(GEP and ENOUGH) and four key stakeholders DOVVSU, GHS, CHRAJ and Domestic violence secretariat of the MoGCSP.