Make allocations to Domestic Violence Fund in 2021 Budget – CSOs

A network of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on Access to Justice in Ghana has appealed to the Government to make provisions for the Domestic Violence Fund as it seeks input for the 2021 budget.

The Coalition said since the initial seed capital of GH¢50,000, eleven years ago, there was no further allocation to the Fund.

The NGOs proposed GH¢1.5 million annually for the Fund to enable the Domestic Violence Secretariat (DVS) to adequately implement its mandate.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Ms Margaret Brew-Ward, Women’s Rights and Campaigns Advisor, ActionAid Ghana, said due to lack of funds, the DVS was unable to play its role, including supporting victims’ access to justice, buying basic materials to support victims, providing shelter, rehabilitating and reintegrating victims.

Ms Brew-Ward said due to lack of funding, victims or survivors were being denied justice.

“This is not the best because when cases are not followed through to the end, perpetrators are emboldened to repeat such acts. If a person is punished for wrongdoing, it serves as a deterrent to others,” she explained.

Ms Brew-Ward, who is also the Co-Convener of the group, stated that the Secretariat had not been able to execute key objectives such as the construction of shelters for victims of domestic violence in the Regions and Districts due to funding challenges.

“Their responsibility to build the capacity of stakeholders and persons connected with shelters, rehabilitation and reintegration have so far suffered due to inadequate resources,” she said.

Ms Brew-Ward while lauding the effort of the Government to engage private firms to support the fund in the form of Corporate Social Responsibility, it was the primary responsibility of the Government as the owner of the Fund to devote money to it.

She stated that the analysis of available data and the Government of Ghana’s policies and programmes on combating domestic violence in the country indicated that much work remained undone.

Ms Brew-Ward said, “Recent data from 106 countries in the global report on goal five of the Sustainable Development Goals shows that 18 per cent of women and girls between the ages of 15 to 49 years have experienced physical and or sexual partner violence in the last 12 months”.

“The report also shows that despite global progress made to implement gender-responsive budgeting, gaps remain in-country efforts to establish a comprehensive and transparent tracking system for monitoring the budget”.

She said the Ghana review report for Beijing + 25, said, among other concerns, lack of funding was a key challenge to addressing Gender-Based Violence and Domestic Violence issues in Ghana.

Source: GNA

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