The Woman’s Initiative for Self Empowerment (WISE), an NGO, on Thursday joined women activists across the world to launch a 16 Days campaign of Activism against gender based violence in Accra.
Themed: ‘Orange the World: end violence against women now ‘, the annual campaign is a strategy by individuals and groups worldwide calling for the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls.
The campaign was initiated in 1991 at the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute, where on November 25, this was observed as International Day Against Violence Against Women till December 10, as International Human Rights Day, which symbolically linked the two occasions as a violation of human rights.
Speaking at the launch in Accra , the Executive Secretary of WISE, Ms Adwoa Bame, , explained that the campaign created a platform for everyone to speak for the elimination of all forms of violence against women while raising the awareness on the act at the local, regional, national and international levels.
The battle of violence against women and children, she said was far from over and stressed the need for media intervention in terms of education and social change.
The Executive Secretary said apart from the press launch, WISE has outlined activities such as a one-on-one with Kwabenya Queenmothers, a fun day at the Autism center at Haatso and a day with the Saint Lutheran School at Anyaa.
Launching the campaign, Mercy C. Adjabeng, Communication Specialist and Gender Advocate, indicated that one out of three girls between the ages of 15 to 49 years reported having experienced at least one form of sexual violence in their lifetime.
Ms Adjabeng who is also a board member of WISE indicated that, there is enough evidence that violence against women and girls increased during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the lockdown.
She said a domestic and health survey conducted in Ghana, 2008, revealed that 38 per cent of women between 15 to 49 years reported experience of psychological, physical and sexual violence by male spouse.
She said that to curb these situations, there was the need for proper policy coordination among key institutions to compel victims and parents of domestic violence issues to pursue the cases to ensure justice was served.
The Board member said that agencies such as the police and health sectors must play critical role in gathering evidence for prosecution.
Ms Adjabeng advocated that the state must rise up to its responsibilities and ensure the safety of survivals by providing shelters and homes for them.
BY VICTOR A. BUXTON