The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), has opened a Support Centre in Accra and launched a technology application to provide services to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) survivors and other users.
Established in partnership with the Domestic Violence Secretariat, of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP), the Orange Support Centre is a landmark in the Ghanaian gender and SGBV setting, leveraging technology to put in place an integrated support system for SGBV survivors and victims through a mobile app, toll free line call centre technology.
There is also a volunteer platform that harnesses the strength of professionals to facilitate psychosocial, legal, medical and physical support among others.
Ms Gladys Osabutey, the Director in-charge of the UN Systems Unit, Ministry of Finance, in her keynote address at the ceremony, said although Ghana had made significant progress towards the elimination of SGBV, there was still a long way to go, and that the country remained at war with the crime with majority of perpetrators being men and boys.
She commended the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service, Development Partners, Civil Society and Faith-Based Organisations respectively, for their immense contributions towards the initiative.
Ms Osabutey also commended the UNFPA specially, for its determination and for living up to its mission of ensuring Zero SGBV.
She said with this facility, clients would be able to access fast and effective legal assistance, referrals to SGBV shelters and all other services without struggle.
According to her, ensuring gender equality and promoting the women’s rights at all levels, be it political, social or economic, and allowing them to participate in decision-making was very critical if Ghana was to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Mr Charlse Abani, the UN Resident Coordinator in Ghana, thanked all the development partners for their support throughout the stages of the project, and encouraged them to work together to achieve total elimination of SGBV by 2030.
In the various solidarity messages from the Canadian and Australian High Commissions, the Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA-Ghana), as well as the Gender Ministry shared, they said DV was becoming an increasingly deadly weapon being used by men globally, to gain power and control over women and other vulnerable groups.
They also admitted that the since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, global statistics of DV cases had soured, with young women and girls having to endure much aggression from their abusers, and said the Centre, would now bridge the gap between the help they desperately needed.
They called for deepened collaboration among all stakeholders, to increase advocacy towards achieving gender equality at all levels, intensifying education and information sharing on the existing legislation and available support services to survivors and victims of DV, while strengthening the justice system to be able to bring all perpetrators of these crimes to fairly face the law.