STAR Ghana Foundation has organised a stakeholder consultative dialogue to discuss measures to end gender-based violence in the country.
The meeting, held in collaboration with Songtaba, a women empowerment organisation, was attended by stakeholders in academia, religious and traditional leaders, civil servants, women groups among others.
It was on the theme: “Sexual and gender-based violence in a COVID-19 pandemic, prevalence, drivers and response measures”.
Madam Eunice Racheal Agbenyadzi, Programmes Manager of STAR Ghana Foundation, who spoke during the event in Tamale, said a research conducted by STAR Ghana Foundation showed that issues of gender-based violence were on the rise in this COVID-19 period, hence, the need to engage relevant stakeholders to devise strategies to end the menace.
Madam Agbenyadzi said it was necessary to assess issues affecting women’s growth and development, citing gender-based violence as a core problem, which needed drastic measures to help protect women.
She emphasised that “It is our responsibility as a nation to ensure women are free from violence against their rights, and this demands that we as stakeholders, come out with mechanisms that will permanently deal with the issue.”
Professor Agnes Atia Apusigah, Chairman of Gender and Social Inclusion Committee of STAR Ghana Foundation said issues of sexual and gender-based violence were complex and required collective efforts of everyone to help minimise their occurrences.
Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mr Emmanuel Holortu, Northern Regional Coordinator of the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit of the Ghana Police Service encouraged victims of gender-based violence to report such issues to the appropriate institutions for actions.
Madam Azarah Mohammed, a Member of the Alleged Witches Network, said members of the Network faced some challenges including physical abuse and stigmatisation and appealed to authorities to formulate policies and laws that would protect them from such issues.