INGH commemorates 16 days of activism against gender-based violence

In observance of International Women’s Day, participants march from the centre of Monrovia to the Temple of Justice, home of the Liberian Supreme Court, where they staged a peaceful sit-in protest against gender-based violence. UN Photo/Eric Kanalstein

International Needs Ghana (INGH), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) that works to see transformed lives and changed communities, has sensitised parents, children and community members of Anfoega-Akukome in the North Dayi District on gender-based violence (GBV).

The programme is part of activities to commemorate 16 days of activism against gender-based violence (GBV), which takes place from November 25 (International Day for Elimination of violence against women) to December 10 (International Human Rights Day), every year.

This year’s campaign is on the global theme, “Orange the world: fund, respond, prevent and collect.”

Mr Israel Akrobortu, Volta Regional Director, Department of Children at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, said as part of this sensitisation mentioned that gender-based violence was also recognised as a key driver of extreme poverty.

He noted that hunger, war and conflict, shielding of perpetrators of violence, non-enforcement of laws, unequal power relations and harmful gender norms such as trokosi, puberty rites were some causes of gender-based violence.

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Mr Akrobortu mentioned Child marriage, female genital mutilation, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, deprivation of inheritance or property among others as examples of GBV.

The Director further stated that some effects of gender-based violence were physical injury, victims adopting risky sexual behaviours, high risk of STI, lost workdays, lower productivity, low income, lost educational, employment, social or political participation opportunities.

Mr Akrobortu said GBV could occur at workplaces, social media, home and family, school and educational and community settings.

Ms. Rita Abla Dugbenu, Programme Officer, INGH, called on community members to take action against all forms of GBV and admonished them to report perpetrators and not shield them, support the prosecution process and empower women and girls to be more assertive.

Ms. Fidelia Duadze, Project Officer, INGH, also empowered adolescent boys and girls to advocate their own protection, be bold to report abuse cases, be kind to survivors of abuse and speak up against all forms of violence.

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Togbe Detsu IV, Chief of Anfoega Agudzi, expressed gratitude to INGH for the sensitisation of the entire community and pledged his commitment and support for the fight against GBV and ensured the creation of a safe and protective environment for women and girls.

Anfoega Akukome is one of the 55 communities in which the Safe and Protective Environment for Adolescent Development (SPREAD) project is being implemented.

It seeks to promote a safe environment for adolescent boys and girls that will prevent and reduce adolescent pregnancies, abuse and exploitation at the community levels.

Participants were taken through “circle of support and stepping stones” activities which were geared towards building community action for the creation of a safe and protective environment for women, boys and girls to ensure they live in a violence-free community.

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