By Priscilla Oye Ofori
Accra, Oct 13, GNA – Mrs Zuweira Lariba Abudu, Minster Designate, Gender, Children and Social Protection, has called for resources to support the Domestic Violence Fund.
She said that would enable it provide support in all forms to victims and survivors of domestic violence.
Mrs Abudu made the call at the official launch of Gender Rights and Empowerment Programme (GREP) organised by the STAR- Ghana Foundation.
The programme is intended to increase the effectiveness of civil society advocacy for women and girls’ political and social rights, particularly rights to inclusive and quality social services and participation in public governance at the national and sub-national levels.
It will cover six regions, including the three regions in northern Ghana, Central, Eastern and Volta regions.
Participants at the launch included representatives from the Gender Ministry, UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), Parliament, Ghana Education Service, Ghana Health Service, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, (CHRAJ), and Civil Society partners.
Mrs Abudu said: “Some victims and survivors come to the Support Centre in just their panties, and we have to get them what to wear before listening to their issues.”
Some persistent cultural beliefs, and social norms, the Minister Designate noted, contributed to intimate partner violence whiles preventing women and girls from reporting violence and abuse against them.
Mrs Abudu appealed for access to justice for victims and survivors to be intensified to enhance confidence in Ghana’s judicial system and said governments over the years had embarked on programmes to address peculiar challenges that women and girls faced in exploiting their full potentials.
They include free maternal healthcare under the National Health Insurance, School Feeding, Capitation Grants and Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty, targeting poor communities.
Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko Amindu, Executive Director, STAR- Ghana Foundation, said the Foundation was focused on increasing the effectiveness of Civil Society’s influence for inclusive development, and access to public services for citizens, particularly women and girls.
He noted that complex issues such as cultural practices and religious beliefs, and systemic challenges at the state level prevented the realisation of gender rights in the country.
Alhaji Amidu called for increased advocacy and awareness creation on the rights of women and girls, and the need for them to be empowered to achieve a more inclusive society.
Mrs Enyonam Azumah, Team Leader, Human Development, UK FCDO, said globally, Civil Society backing had been significant for influencing changes in law and approaches.
Hence, she said, FCDO was providing £580,000 through STAR-Ghana to 18 Civil Society Organisations to champion the rights and empowerment of women and girls in Ghana through the GREP.
The project, the Team Leader said, was consistent with the second priority of UK’s International Development Strategy to provide women and girls the freedom they needed to succeed by educating, empowering and ending violence against them.