Ms Beatrice Korsah, the Bono Regional Coordinator of the Domestic Violence Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) has expressed worry about the increasing cases of sexual and gender-based violence and divorce in the region.
“These are happening because many men claimed their wives denied them sex”, she said, and warned that it remained an offence for men to beat or torture their wives for denying them sex.
She also advised victims to report such cases to the police for the necessary action to be taken, until cases worsened.
Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the side-lines of a skill training workshop in Sunyani, Ms Korsah expressed regret that many men subjected their wives to worst forms of human rights abuses, but victims failed to report because of fear of divorce and stigmatization.
She said it was rather people in the neighbourhood, friends or relations who sometimes reported or hinted the unit, when some of these cases of sexual and gender-based violence worsened in marriages.
The Global Media Foundation (GLOMeF), a human rights and media advocacy non-governmental organisation organised the training, attended by about 150 vulnerable young women selected from Abesim, Wawasua, Antwikrom, Sunyani and New Dormaa in the Municipality.
They were trained in soap making, shower gel, and liquid soap, as part of a project being implemented by the NGO with funding from the Global Affairs Canada and Plan International.
Titled “Women Empowerment and Enterprise Development (WEED)”, the five-month project is aimed at advocating gender-sensitive and equity at work places, and training women in basic entrepreneurship and vocational training.
Ms Korsah noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had contributed to job losses among spouse and that was also contributing to increasing cases of divorce, parental neglect, and child delinquency in the region.
“We are handling several cases where spouses have now separated because of job losses. In most of these cases many men are unable to provide for the needs of their families. So they start the confusion and go their separate ways”, she said.
Mrs Joyce Adii, the Bono Regional Director of the Department of Gender, commended the NGO and its partners for the support to the women, saying the project was laudable and would greatly help empower women to become self-reliant.
Throwing more light on the WEED project, Ms Christiana Korankye, the Project Coordinator, said the project targeted to benefit 5,000 vulnerable young women, including head potters, people with disability and street hawkers.
They include; 150 young women between 19 and 30 years, 50 women with disability and 250 economically inactive women, who would also be trained in mushroom production.
The project would support the beneficiaries to form cooperatives, access credit facilities, and improve access to the ready markets, she added