Accra – One of many events planned by the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs (MoWAC) and partners, including UNIC Accra, to mark this year’s 16 Days of activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is a youth symposium held at the Walewale Senior High Technical School. The school is located in the West Mamprusi District of the Northern region of Ghana, some 106km north of Tamale.
The symposium was on the theme “Women’s right and socio-economic development in the home and at the community”. It was to educate students on the socio-economic rights of women and to increase awareness on the mechanisms for addressing GBV. About 190 students and 6 teachers were in attendance.
Speaking on the topic, United Nations and the activism against GBV, the National Information Officer of UNIC Accra, Ms Cynthia Prah provided an overview of the history of the 16 Days of activism against GBV and the role of the United Nations in promoting this cause. She said, out of every 10 women, 7 of them experience physical or sexual abuse from men in their lifetime. Ms Prah urged students to visit the UNiTE to end violence against women campaign website to learn more about global initiatives to end violence against women. She also encouraged the students to contribute to the cause by volunteering their time to serve their communities, engaging and sharing information on GBV with their peers and organizing events in their communities.
There were also presentations from representatives of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and Action Aid Ghana.
A short documentary on violence against women was shown for the students to see its practical effect on women, children and the community. Students groaned and sighed as they watched women being inflicted with pain as a result of domestic dispute. At the end of it all, the students wanted to know if they can report such cases to the Walewale police. Gbena Grace asked if “the Walewale Police station has an office to deal with cases of domestic violence”. Mohammed Abbas was pleased to learn about the ways students can be “agents of prevention” of domestic violence. For Alhassan Asana, the communities in which they come from need to be sensitized, hence her question was “how can one educate villagers about issues of Gender Based Violence?” Ibn Fahad feels that “Despite the fact that Ghana is a democratic country, some people still enjoy diplomatic privileges”. He therefore wanted “to know the position of such people when they violated the rights of a woman”. He was pleased to learn that when it comes to violence against any one, there is no official immunity.