Mr. Ernest Owusu, Project Officer of the Sustainable Mission Aid (SMAiD) International, on Monday called on religious groups and traditional rulers to join the crusade in the fight against sexual and gender base violence in the country.
He made the call in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) after a ceremony to mark the regional celebration of the International Women’s Day celebration in Sunyani.
SMAid is a Non – Governmental Organization that seek to improve health and quality of the people and again is committed in providing knowledge for individuals to have access to livelihood opportunities and quality education.
Under the theme, “Chose To Challenge”, the day was jointly organized by SMAID and the Bono Regional Gender Department and sponsored by the European Union in collaboration with Women in Law, Development in Africa (WILDAF) and OXFAM Ghana.
Mr. Owusu entreated other stakeholders to join for effective collaboration for total eradication of gender base violence and help promote women’s development in the country.
He stated that SMAiD was collaborating with the Department of Gender in seeking to end the sexual and gender base violence menace through sensitization programmes to groom girls in the various communities to become women of substance.
Mr. Owusu observed that women should be recognized and be empowered to become partners in the nation’s development, but should not be side-lined since women too could contribute to the socio economic development of the nation.
He said women needed to be given equal opportunities to improve their skills, knowledge and leadership opportunities to be able to attain high leadership positions.
Mr. Owusu said members of the communities were empowered by SMAid to develop action plans to guide their children to become community-base counsellors to handle issues of abuses and all negative cultural practices combating against the progress of women and children.
He stated that SMAid and the gender department through street advocacy, schools outreach programs and community base discussions at the information centre, were educating students on human right, career guidance and general empowerment to help them understand and support gender base issues.
The women earlier gathered at some vantage points in the Sunyani township holding placards with inscriptions “If you want something done, ask a woman”, Give women equal opportunity”, Women become empowered, determined and unstoppable when given the chance”.