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John and I’ll pass a bill to address sexual harassment everywhere – Opoku-Agyemang

Wed, 25 Nov 2020 Source: Class FM

John Mahama’s running mate, Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, has said the next NDC government will propose and pass a bill to address sexual harassment everywhere, provide support and protection programmes for victims of domestic violence, and eliminate all barriers faced by victims especially women and children in seeking remedy and justice.

Mrs Opoku-Agyemang said this in a statement to mark 16 days of activism for “No Violence Against Women and Children” to mark advocacy against gender-based violence.

The international awareness-raising campaign starts from 25th November to 10th December observing the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the Universal Children’s Day and World AIDS Day.

According to Prof Opoku-Agyemang, the surge in gender-based violence is threatening the welfare of vulnerable groups, particularly women especially at a time where COVID-19 is ravishing world economies.

“Indeed, the reality of the pandemic along with its attendant life adjustments has meant that most victims are often stuck spending time with their abusers at home or their harassers at the workplace.

“Consequently, rape and defilement has been on the rise during this pandemic and domestic violence has spiked during the lockdowns imposed to control the pandemic,” the statement said.

According to Prof Opoku-Agyemang “Existing legal protections have so far proved inadequate in addressing the scale of the challenge faced by vulnerable women” and, therefore, the next NDC government will propose and pass a bill to address sexual harassment everywhere.

Read full statement below:

MEDIA STATEMENT

Accra, 25/11/2020

STATEMENT ON ACTIVISM AGAINST GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE

Every year, the United Nations (UN) designates 16 days of Activism for “No Violence Against Women and Children” to mark advocacy against Gender-Based Violence.

The international awareness-raising campaign starts from 25th November to 10th December observing the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the Universal Children’s Day and World AIDS Day.

The UN Women 2020 UNITE Campaign is themed: “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!”

This year’s campaign is especially notable given that it is occurring amidst a raging global pandemic that continues to wreak havoc on economies and human lives.

Reports indicate that there has been an upsurge in gender-based violence threatening the welfare of vulnerable groups, particularly among women.

A development the UN term “shadow pandemic”. Even more worrisome is that many women are vulnerable to violence both in their domestic as well as professional environment.

Indeed, the reality of the pandemic along with its attendant life adjustments has meant that most victims are often stuck spending time with their abusers at home or their harassers at the work place.

Consequently, rape and defilement has been on the rise during this pandemic and domestic violence has spiked during the lockdowns imposed to control the pandemic.

Existing legal protections have so far proved inadequate in addressing the scale of the challenge faced by vulnerable women.

There have been recent efforts in the right direction at the International level, such as the adoption of the new ILO Convention 190, which aims to eliminate violence and sexual harassment at the work place.

Nonetheless, acomprehensive, concerted approach must be adopted in order to effectively protect the well-being of vulnerable groups not just during a pandemic, but also in ways that address the structural and systemic barriers contributing to the vulnerability of victims.

In Ghana, this would mean taking concrete and tangible actions such as resourcing the Domestic Violence Fund, eliminating medical fees for rape and defiled victims building shelters to accommodate victims of gender-based violence and ratifying the ILOC 190.

This should be a commitment that all of us embrace and strive to achieve.

John Mahama and I dedicate ourselves to this commitment and we will confront these issues head on, as outlined in The People’s Manifesto.

We will propose and pass a bill to address sexual harassment everywhere, provide support and protection programs for victims of domestic violence, and eliminate all barriers faced by victims especially women and children in seeking remedy and justice.

These are moral obligations we shall not shirk.

Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang

Vice Presidential Candidate of the NDC, 2020

Source: Class FM
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