An Anti-Sexual Violence School-Based Club to help prevent sexual violence against girls and young women was on Wednesday inaugurated at Dar-Es-Salaam Junior High School in the Ledzokuku Municipality, Accra.
The club, inaugurated by Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF) Ghana, formed part of its two-year project dubbed “PROTECT!” and funded by African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF).
The project is to be implemented in three districts – Ledzokuku, Ga West and Ekumfi in the Greater Accra and Central regions respectively.
The Project Coordinator, WiLDAF Ghana, Ms Gloria Kankam, speaking at the inauguration, said the project sought to promote positive norms, healthy relationships, engage community structures to create safe environments for girls and young women.
She said it was also to provide legal services for adolescent girls, boys and young women to address sexual violence against them.
“This will enhance social and emotional skills such as communication and problem solving, conflict management and emotional intelligence as well as train Club members on soft skills that they need to help prevent and combat sexual violence,” Ms Kankam added.
The Municipal Director of Education, LEKMA, Mrs Theresa Tetteh, in a speech read on her behalf, said the purpose of the project was in line with the Assembly’s vision and would complement in the eradication of gender-based violence against women and girls.
She said most students had become victims of sexual violence in schools, homes and the community at large, hence becoming school dropouts.
“Most parents do not honour their responsibilities as parents; children are left alone to cater for themselves, in the course of doing so, most men in the community take advantage to defile them. Some girls become pregnant and give birth at their tender ages while others resort to abortion ordered by the men to cover their shame,” she added.
Mrs Tetteh commended WiLDAF Ghana and its partners for the initiative and pledged the Assembly’s support in achieving the purpose of the project.
The Director of Social Welfare, LEKMA, Ms Vida Adjomani, encouraged the girls to report any form of sexual violence against them to the appropriate institutions such as DOVVSU, Ghana Police Service, Department of Social Welfare, and National Commission on Civic Education to help in rescuing them.
BY VIVIAN ARTHUR