The Krontihemaa of Oguaa Traditional Area, Nana Amba Eyiaba I, has called for an end to all forms of practices that contribute to the increase in gender-based violence in the country.
She, therefore, urged people from the various sectors of the society to support efforts being made to end all forms of activities that contribute to increasing the incidence of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV).
According to her, statistics available showed that one out of three women in the country was reported to have suffered from SGBV.
Nana Amba Eyiaba I, made the call at a forum organised by the Star Ghana Foundation (SGF) with support from the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) at Cape Coast.
The forum, attended by participants drawn from the Western, Central, Volta and Northern Regions formed part of activities being organised by the Star Ghana Foundation to mark this year’s 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.
It focused on developing a community-led initiatives towards ending and increasing awareness on all forms of violence against women and girls.
Nana Amba Eyiaba I noted that the reported incidence of sexual and gender-based violence was a worrying trend that needed to be addressed holistically.
She called on stakeholders to double their efforts at reducing sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls.
Statistics from the Greater Accra Regional office of the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU), she explained, established that 31.9 per cent of women in Ghana faced at least one form of domestic violence in 2020.
Additionally, she indicated that other statistics available showed that one out of three women were fondled against their will in 2016.
She also said that two out of 10 women in the country were found to have had sex out of their own will, while seven per cent of women were found to have been forced to touch the private parts of men.
Nana Amba Eyiaba I indicated that the figures on sexual and gender-based violence, specifically against women and girls were unacceptable and called on men to support the campaign to end such violence and abuse against women.
In her address, the Programmes Manager at SGF, Eunice Racheal Agbenyadzi, mentioned abuses such as defilement, rape, and allegations of witchcraft tilted against women due to cultural and beliefs as some of the SGBV.
She, therefore, called for the adoption of community-led approaches towards combating the incidence of SGBV.
She also reiterated the need for traditional leaders to lead the way in combating the incidence of sexual and gender-based violence in the country.
A Governance Advisor with the FCDO, Clara Osei Boateng, for her part, called for the empowerment of women economically to enable them to address issues of SGBV effectively.
Participants at the forum called for an end with respect to the payment medical examinations and police reports for people who had undergone sexual and gender-based violence to facilitate trial of offenders of such acts.They argued that some victims abandon the fight against sexual and gender-based violence due to financial constraints.
The participants further called on traditional and opinion leaders as well as individuals to refrain from settling on sexual abuses at home but report such cases to the police for the necessary action to be taken on it.
FROM DAVID O. YARBOI-TETTEH, CAPE COAST