The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection has launched this year’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence in Accra.
The 16 Days Campaign begins on November 25 which is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and ends on December 10, International Human Rights Day, every year.
The celebration emphasizes that gender-based violence in its many forms is a human rights violation. According to the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon. Nana Oye Lithur, this year’s campaign “is a direct response to increasing violence against education, especially of young girls and women, as in the case of forceful abduction of the Chibok school girls in Nigeria. She appealed to school heads, teachers, parents to help address the problem of school related gender-based violence in Ghana.
She said research has shown that school authorities and parents can drastically reduce figures of school related gender-based violence if they consciously put in effort to ensure that no school child suffers violence based on his / her gender. She added that Ghana’s education sector continues to record progress towards the attainment of gender parity at the basic level of education. However, sexual and gender-based violence is affecting girl child education in Ghana.
“Evidence indicates that school related gender based violence affects millions of children and adolescents worldwide. It is one of the worst manifestations of gender discrimination and violates a wide range of children’s rights. Education is critical in empowering and transforming the lives of young people, especially girls, yet widespread gender-based violence in and around schools seriously undermines the achievement quality, inclusive and equitable education for all children”, she said.
She stressed, this year’s theme, ‘From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Make Education Safe for All” drums home the importance of removing all barriers to girls education. She sympathized with girls and women in many parts of the world who have had their education affected by growing violence and conflict.
The Gender Minister further outlined major setbacks to girls’ education such as teenage pregnancy and early marriage, Nana Oye Lithur called on all stakeholders in the education sector to help bring an end to school-related gender-based violence.
She reiterated her ministry’s commitment to put in place the necessary legal and policy framework to address all issues that affect women’s rights and gave a strong indication of hope for Ghanaian women.
The National Head of the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit ACP Habiba Tsumasi Sarpong emphasized her Unit’s readiness to support victims of Human Rights abuses, and ensure that justice is meted out to whoever the perpetrators may be.