Transformative Action for Gender Equality (TAGE) Project Manager, Mercy Tuffour has called for collaboration between state institutions and her organisation to reduce gender-based violence in the country.
She mentioned that the Ministry of Gender, Ministry of Health, Domestic and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) and Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) as some of the institutions to nip in the bud, violence, especially against women and girls.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with the Ghanaian Times over the weekend, Mrs Tuffour said the team had begun forming women groups in 64 communities, across eight districtsand 4 regions in the country.
These areGreater Accra, Volta, Upper East and the Northern Regions.
She was speaking against the backdrop of increasing rates of incidence of violence being perpetrated against women particularly by their spouses.
Most of these, she said had gone on unreported,therefore there should be ways to curb the phenomenon.
Mrs Tuffour explained that the project sought to improve gender equality and eradicate violence experience among women and girls as violence could not be a private issue.
“We have organised training for the women groups, to empower women and girls to know their rights, understand and recognise all forms of domestic violence and intimate partner violence.”
She added that, training for paralegals have commenced and that her outfit would be working at the district level with women groups in communities on domestic violence prevention and reporting.
Further, Mrs Tuffouremphasised that the training would enable women and girls to seek protection and defend themselves within their communities and through the effective implementation of relevant laws, policies and legal mechanisms which provided protection against violence.
“Training leaders in the communities would also help victims open up since it was an issue most people kept quiet about, additionally the leaders would be supported to provide step-down knowledge and skills to members of such respective groups,” she stated.
She stated that as much as the training focused on addressing the root causes of violence against women and girls in the country, peer education would also be given to boys in order to understand the risks associated with abusing young girls and women.
TAGE has a 30-month period and estimated at €550,000, which would be rolled out by ActionAid Ghana (AAG) to help improve gender equality and reduce violence against women and girls as well as raise awareness and empower them.
The AAG in partnership with International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) was sponsored by the European Union (EU) in rolling out the project and was expected to reach a total of 16,200 community members.
The project which fell under AAG’s mission priority was expected to reach out to about 2.8 million women, girls, people living with disabilities, widows, informal workers, men, media organisations, women rights networks, government agencies, traditional authorities, and faith-based leaders through a catalytic national social norms campaign.
BY ANITA ANKRAH