The project sponsored by Crossroads International seeks to empower the girls with knowledge on Children’s rights, Domestic Violence, Gender Based Violence with focus on sexual abuses and consent.
A statement signed by Ms Abigail Edem Hunu, Project Coordinator of WiLDAF and copied to the Ghana News Agency said sexual abuse and violence in Ghanaian schools is increasing in prevalence, over the last couple of years abuses of children including defilement cases, child marriage have dominated the media.
It said statistics from the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit shows that a total of 1,296 girls in the country were defiled, while 335 other women were raped in 2014.
The statement said a report on sexual abuse among children in the country conducted by Plan Ghana, has revealed that out of 100 cases involving children, who had been molested, 53 cases actually occurred at school.
It said there are numerous barriers for the prevention of Gender Based Violence, which include the cultural norms of not allowing children to speak out, the culture of silence combined with the issue of ignorance.
Others include the lack of access to legal resources, the legacy of patriarchy and the perception that women and Girls are inferior beings cover these unlawful acts.
It added that most Ghanaian communities think discussing sexual health, sexual relations and sexual violence is a private issue.
It stated that young men and women reaching the age of maturity with little or no information on what constitutes healthy sexual relationships and human rights and legal resources leaves room for sexual abuse to occur with no repercussions for the perpetrators.
It said this therefore makes it imperative to intensify efforts at ending these epidemics starting from schools to protect the rights of the Girl child.
Crossroads International and Women in Law and Development in Africa- WiLDAF Ghana started the Girls Empowerment project in the country in 2013.
The Girls Empowerment Club is focused on raising leaders for tomorrow. Empowering girls to become leaders in their community and in their home is vital for a successful nation.
The statement said: “The only way we can accomplish this is if we break the cycle of discrimination and abuse that occurs within many institutions in Ghana.”
By Samira Larbie, GNA