The Coalition of women movement in the Upper East Region has called on government to decentralize the offices of the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) to the district levels to help fight gender-based violence.
The coalition said Violence against women and girls is on the increase and they suffer the ordeal which retards development,” the women said. “We wish to state that domestic violence is one of the causes of poverty in the districts. Furthermore, victims of domestic violence have no access to justice due to absence of DOVVSU offices in the districts. This has made perpetrators take advantage and continue to violate the rights of women and girls”.
These were contained in a communiqué presented by the Women Smallholder Farmers’ Movement, the Community Based Violence Teams (COMBAT), the Young Urban Women Movement and Activista, to government through the Nabdam District Assembly.
The presentation was made at a community durbar at Pelungu in the Nabdam district organized by ActionAid Ghana as part of the implementation of a five year project on Promoting Opportunities for Women Empowerment and Rights (POWER).
The project’s main objective is to contribute to the economic empowerment of 6000 rural women in Ghana, by supporting them to increase their incomes and self-reliance, reduce the drudgery of unpaid care work and promote credible and sustainable livelihoods.
The statement read by Madam Faustina Saroog, a member of the coalition, stated that victims of abuse were not able to travel to the regional office in Bolgatanga to report cases of abuse and seek justice due to the huge cost involved.
The group therefore called on the government through the District Assemblies to establish DOVVSU offices at the various districts and collaborate with the Regional Police Commander to post staff to man the offices to enhance adjudication of gender-based violence and related cases.
“The District Assemblies, the National Commission for Civic education (NCCE), and the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) should come with strategies that support domestic violence victims seek justice conveniently since the rights of women and girls are abuse with impunity.”
It further called on the Ghana Education Service and the Department of Community Development to support advocacies towards mainstreaming child care centres into the educational system.
Ms Juliet Adams, the Upper East Regional Programme Manager, Action Aid Ghana, said the price of gender-based violence was terrible and no community or country could develop sustainably without a comprehensive coordinated approach, devised to combat the phenomenon.
“Action Aid Ghana calls on government of the republic of Ghana to show their commitment by drastically increasing national spending in all relevant areas, including supporting women’s movements and civil society organizations.
Ms Safia Salifu, an Officer of DOVVSU at the Regional Police Headquarters, who received the communiqué on behalf of the District Chief Executive, Madam Agnes Anamoo, assured the women that their concerns would be channeled to the appropriate authorities for action to be taken.
She however, advised the women to always report gender-based violence cases to the various police offices at the various districts and communities.
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