Gender Minister urges RCCs to give shelter to victims of domestic violence

Social Investment Gbv Min
Social Investment Gbv

Madam Lariba Zuweira Abudu, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, has appealed to Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs) to provide temporarily bungalows to shelter victims of domestic violence.

She said the Ministry lacked shelters and pleaded with the RCCs to support.

Madam Abudu appealed for the High -Level Dialogue on Combating Gender-Based Violence and Harmful Practices as part of activities to mark the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) organised by the Gender Ministry and supported by its partners in Accra.

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that starts on 25th November and runs until 10th December to fight violence against women and girls.

The Minister said victims needed somewhere to stay or hide, be clothed and supported after escaping from abuse and reporting to the Domestic Violence Secretariat, however, funding was not adequate to handle those needs.

She said victims who were sheltered and supported were confident of their safety and able to seek redress.

Madam Abudu said stakeholders must invest adequate resources to help the fight against GBV because every year, millions of women and girls globally fell victims of all forms of violence, including domestic violence and Ghana was no exception.

Data from the 2016 Domestic Violence Survey in Ghana showed that approximately, 27.7 per cent of Ghanaian women had experienced at least one form of domestic violence being either physical, economic, psychological, social, or sexual violence.

Approximately 38.2 per cent of adolescent girls aged 15-19 were reported to have experienced at least one act of sexual violence according to the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (2017/2018).

She said laws that protected women and girls must bite and bite fast to encourage more victims to report cases of abuse.

The Minster said the country had over the years made strides in fighting violence against women and girls, including the establishment of the Domestic Violence and Victim’s Support Unit (DoVVSU), passage of the Domestic Violence Act, 732(2007) and establishment of the Orange Support Center.

Mr Javier Gutiérrez, Spanish Ambassador to Ghana, expressed worry about the slow progress towards a more egalitarian society, and the increasingly threats to women’s sexual and reproductive freedom.

He highlighted some reinforced actions from Spain for Ghana to emulate, including its contribution of €100 million from 2023 to 2025 to organisations promoting women’s rights.

Mr Gutiérrez said Spain’s new Cooperation Law, adopted this year, had gender as a crosscutting priority for all their actions, had prevention, protection and assistance, recovery of victims and fight against discrimination and stereotypes through education, awareness and affirmative action as four action-based pillars.

Madam Fati Ndiaye, Acting United Nations Resident Coordinator, said fostering strategic partnerships from the national through to the community level with key stakeholders was central to advancing gender equality and end harmful practices.

She said stakeholders must map out effective ways of ensuring that national structures were responsive to the needs of GBV survivors because an effective national response to GBV had to be accessible, culturally appropriate and age-specific to leave no one behind.

Madam Thelma Hayford, Gender Advisor, Oxfam Ghana and Project Manager EU Enough, said Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) was like an amoeba which easily adapted to whichever context it found itself to spread and wreak havoc.

She called for a more unified front where synergies and knowledge sharing were leveraged for a responsive approach to addressing the menace of SGBV.

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