Expedite action on Domestic Violence Act – ActionAid

Mr George Dery, Upper West Regional Programme Manager of ActionAid, has appealed to the Government to speed up the processes for the passage of the Domestic Violence Act.

This, he said, would ensure the availability of resources to support the Domestic Violence Fund.

He called for the strengthening and empowerment of institutions of state working to promote the welfare of women and children to enable them to function effectively.

Mr Dery made the appeal during the launch of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence in the Upper West Region organised by the Department of Gender in collaboration with ActionAid.

The 16 days of activism against gender based-violence is an international campaign celebrated annually to highlight significant gender-based violence women and girls go through.

Mr Dery said the term “Violence against Women” and “Gender-based Violence” referred to a range of abuses committed against women stemming from gender inequality and women’s subordination in society.

Forms of gender-based violence, according to him, include sexual abuse, rape, sexual harassment, trafficking in women, forced prostitution and harmful socio-cultural practices such as forced marriages, abduction, kidnapping, elopement, widow inheritance and female genital mutilation.

Mr Dery said following the increase in reported cases of gender-based violence in the region, ActionAid had committed itself to fighting the canker through  interventions like increase in community sensitisation on domestic laws and the training of 57 community-based anti-violence teams.

Dr Ephraim Avea Nsoh, Upper West Regional Minister, said violence against women and girls still remained a developmental challenge and called for effective stakeholder collaboration in order to flash out the canker.

He appealed to Non Governmental Organisations not to look at the funding they received from their projects but rather the impact that those projects had on the lives of the people.

Dr Nsoh appealed to the media to eschew sensationalism when reporting on gender issues in order not to destroy the dignity of the victims.

Mr Israel Akrobortu, Acting Upper West Regional Director of the Department of Gender, called on the University for Development Studies to get involved in gender issues.

This could be done by establishing relevant and credible research agenda and studies that would generate the knowledge needed for the integration of gender issues into the mainstream of development, he said.

Source: GNA

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