Action Aid Ghana (AAG) on Wednesday organised a Transformative Action for Gender Equality (TAGE) dialogue at Amasaman Methodist Church in the Ga West Municipality.
The dialogue, which aimed at combating gender based violence, was attended by community leaders, residents, heads and representatives of Departments and Institutions, traders and Imams.
In a brief address, the Greater Accra, Volta, Oti Regional Programmes Manager (GAVORP), AAG, She-Vera Anzagira, said due to the increasing rate of the incidence of violence perpetuated against women, a campaign to fight it was rolled out.
“Today is the sixth day of our 16 days of activism campaign against Gender- Based Violence which seeks to highlight some of the things happening in societies that made life unbearable for the weak and vulnerable people,” she said.
She explained that during the 16 days, meetings would be held amongst religious leaders, key stakeholders, chiefs and queen mothers to discuss how they could use their positions to help curb or stop violence in the communities.
“Most people in communities one way or the other experience some sort of violence, be it physical, sexual or emotional, yet most of it are gone unreported, for this reason we are reaching out to everyone to help find ways to curb the phenomenal,” she stated.
Alluding to the increasing rate of violence in communities, the Ga West Social Development Officer, Ahmed Jawaad Hammond, said one major cause of persistent violence was the lack of reporting violence and negative cultural norms.
“Since the time of our forefathers till date, how our culture has been structured has not changed in most communities, community leaders and chiefs continue to solve every issue by themselves, even when most of it has to be channelled to higher authorities for further investigations,” he said.
Mr Hammond noted that it was time for community leaders, chiefs and people in the community to be educated fully on their rights, laws and the appropriate persons or institutions to channel any form of violence and other pressing issues to.
“We have organisations like the Ministry of Gender, Ministry of Health, Domestic and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU), Social Welfare and Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) who are ready to handle any issue of violence,” he said.
On her part, the Ga West Municipal Director of CHRAJ, Mrs Araba Fotwiwa Awua-Boateng, stated that whether a woman or a man became a victim of violence, it should be reported because there were laws for all, not just for women.
“There are laws for us all that protect and govern victims, so the more victims report culprits the less cases of violence or abuse in communities and country as a whole,” she advised.
The 16 Days of activism campaign against Gender-Based Violence which began from November 25 is expected to end on December 10.
It aims at creating awareness on the consequences of the act and the need to bring it to a halt, as well as pressure the government to introduce and tighten laws to eliminate violence against women in the country.
FROM ANITA ANKRAH, AMASAMAN