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ActionAid Ghana inaugurates shelter for abused females

PA three-bedroom complex with other ancillary facilities was inaugurated at Wa on Friday, by a non-governmental-organisation (NGO), ActionAid Ghana, to provide temporary shelter for females victims of various forms of abuses in the Upper West Region.

The facility, which is made up of a conference room, an office, counseling unit and three bedrooms, separate wash rooms, store and kitchen, is expected to be used by the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit, (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service, the Gender and Children’s departments and other stakeholders, who work in the interest of women and girls.

The Programme Manager of the NGO, Mr George Dery, said the edifice was constructed with funds from the People’s Post Code Lottery, to assist in the rehabilitation of females, who suffer abuses such as rape, domestic violence and early or forced marriages.

“More often than not, we are interested in rescuing victims from abuses, but what happens after that, where do they go to while the issues they are running away from are being sorted?” this is why an office complex is really necessary,” he said.

Mr Dery indicated that inauguration of the facility formed part of activities by the NGO to celebrate women in the region, adding that “women are a very important component of society, without whom social order will be hampered.”

He stated that a Ghana Times Use Survey conducted by the Ghana Statistical Service in 2012, showed that women did five times more unpaid care work than men in the Upper West, placing the region second behind Northern Region in Ghana.

Mr Dery explained that unpaid care work was jobs that did not bring any economic reward to the person performing them, and these included cooking, taking care of children and running errands in the house.

“Women spend so much time serving men and the children so that most of them are rendered less economically productive and are unable to pursue higher education, political ambitions or meaningful careers,” he lamented.

Inaugurating the facility, the Wa Municipal Chief Executive, Alhaji Tahiru Issahaku Moomin, hailed the NGO for the intervention, and announced that the assembly had been supporting women and girls.

He assured ActionAid that the assembly would deploy workers to the facility to undertake various services such as security, counselling and cleaning.

The Regional Commander for DOVVSU, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Apiiya Adongo, thanked the NGO for the gesture, saying it would facilitate the work of the unit and to ensure that victims were protected.

He said “We at DOVVSU should have been supporting victims of abuse and not only rescue them, but we are forced to arrest and deal with perpetrators only because we have no centres to keep the victims for psychological treatment.”

ASP Adongo indicated that “in cases where we are unable to arrest the offender, it becomes a challenge where to keep the victims and also when we have cases of missing children, so this building is very relevant.”

The DVVSU Commander commended ActionAid for furnishing his office to facilitate his work.

Lydia Darlington Fordjour

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