The Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection (MoGCSP) and its development partners began the 16-day campaign against gender-based violence on Saturday, November 25, 2023. The initiative kicked off with a walk through the principal streets of Tamale.
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that runs from November 25 to December 10. It aims to raise awareness and take action to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls in all forms.
The campaign was initiated by activists at the Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and has since been coordinated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. The United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE by 2030 initiative supports it, calling for global solidarity and investment to end violence against women and girls by 2030.
This year’s campaign has the theme: “UNITE! Activism to End Violence Against Women and Girls,” in line with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
After the walk, Hon. Lariba Zuweira Abudu, the Minister for Gender, Children, and Social Protection, highlighted the pressing issue of violence against women and girls worldwide. She emphasized the importance of investing in prevention measures to counteract this violence.
To prevent violence against women and girls, the Minister called on families, individuals, communities, and corporate organizations to take concrete steps, such as developing gender-sensitive policies, providing empowering opportunities, and implementing transformative actions.
The Minister also shared that the Ministry has completed the initial review phase of the Domestic Violence Act, 732 (2007), its Legislative Instrument, and the National Domestic Violence Policy and is now redrafting them to enhance their effectiveness.
The Ministry has also partnered with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to train over 120 market executives as paralegals to aid survivors within markets and communities.
Expressing gratitude, the Minister thanked all partners for their technical and financial support towards the Ministry’s programmes
Mr. Shani Alhassan Shaibu, the Northern Regional Minister, called for a unified effort to combat injustices against all genders, especially women and girls.
Dr. Wilfred Ochan, the UNFPA Ghana Representative, reiterated the imperative of breaking the silence on gender-based violence against young girls to enable them to reach their full potential.
According to UN Women, violence against women and girls is a widespread and systemic human rights violation, affecting one in three women globally. It has short- and long-term physical, economic, and psychological effects on the survivors and their families and hinders the achievement of gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Ghana is no exception to this global trend. The Ghana 2016 survey on domestic violence shows that 27.7% of Ghanaian women experienced at least one form of domestic violence (physical, economic, psychological, social, and sexual violence). The survey also reveals that 38.2% of women aged 15-19, 40.4% of women aged 20-24, and 38.3% of women aged 30–39 reported having experienced at least one act of sexual violence.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Ghana recently shared a staggering statistic on its platform, shedding light on the harrowing reality faced by women worldwide. According to their post, an alarming 736 million women globally have experienced physical and or sexual violence at least once in their lives. This distressing figure stresses the pervasive nature of gender-based violence and emphasizes the urgent need for collective action to address and eliminate this profound issue affecting millions of women globally.