Stakeholders propose mechanisms to strengthen referral systems on SGBV issues

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Key stakeholders within the social justice delivery system on Wednesday met at a workshop to discuss and devise mechanisms to strengthen referral systems around issues of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in the country.

The workshop, held in Tamale, was organised by Theatre for Social Change (TfSC), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), as part of its Equal Rights and Opportunity for Women and Girls (EROP) project.

It was attended by representatives from the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Department of Social Welfare, Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service, Gender Desk Office of the Sagnarigu Municipal Assembly, Ghana Health Services and Ghana Education Service.

They analysed the trend of justice delivery on issues of SGBV, with a focus on referral points for victims, and evaluated the existing response mechanisms for persons who seek redress in social justice institutions as well as proposed some strategies to strengthen such support mechanisms.

A TfSC report which was presented during the workshop revealed that “women and girls, in particular, continue to face human rights challenges and lack the confidence to report and as result do not realize their rights to take opportunities for the advancement on such issues at the appropriate institutions”.

Participants, therefore, called on government and other stakeholders to resource institutions responsible for delivering social justice services with adequate funds and logistics to boost their work.

They further called for periodic capacity building for staff of social justice delivery institutions to equip them with modern skills to deal with issues of SGBV to enhance the well-being of victims.

They appealed to traditional authorities and political actors to desist from interfering in SGBV cases brought before the appropriate institutions and indicated that, such interference undermined the law and slowed the justice delivery process.

Participants again called for proper collaboration and coordination between various social justice institutions to enable them to expedite actions to resolve all SGBV issues brought to them to achieve desired results.

Mr Emmanuel Anane Yeboah, Research, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Manager at TfSC, said the goal of the EROP project was to contribute to the realization of gender equality and opportunities for women and girls to live successful lives in the country.

The project is being implemented in partnership with the Ghana Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Alliance for Young People, WOMEN IN NEED (WIN), and Africa Centre for Human Rights and Sustainable Development (AfCHuRSD), with funding support from the Dutch Embassy in Ghana.

It is in five communities in the Sagnarigu Municipality of the Northern Region, including, Kasalgu, Wurishei, Gbolo-Kpalsi, Dimala and, Dushegu-Ngarim.

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