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Ms Patricia Isabella Essel who is the( program Manager - Access to Justice and preventing (GBV) emphasized in speech that, "Women In Law  and Development in Africa(, WILDAF-GHANA) in collaboration with Oxfam in Ghana, Crossroads international and Care international Ghana join the world once again to commemorate the global campaign of 16 days of Activism against gender based violence which commerce on the international Day for the Elimination of violence against women (25th November)and end on international Human Rights Day( 10th December). This year marks the 26th anniversary of the 16 days campaign since its introduction. The global theme for this year is "LEAVE ON ONE BEHIND : END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS "which commit to a world free from violence for all women and girls around the world, while reaching the most underserved and marginalized, including persons living with disability, migrants, minorities and population affected by conflict and natural disasters, amongst other."

She said, Global estimate published by World Health Organization (WHO) (updated in 2016)indicate that about 1in 3 (35 percent) women worldwide have experienced either physical and or sexual violence in their life time. The recent national Domestic violence prevalence research conducted by the ministry of Gender, Children and social protection in 2016 indicated that nearly 28 percent of women experienced  at least one form of Domestic violence in the12 months prior to the survey. 

The most common firm of domestic violence reported by women in the survey was economic violence (12.8, per cent),followed by social violence( 116 per cent),psychological violence (9.3 per cent), physical violence (6.0 per cent) and sexual violence (2.5 per cent).

Although report of domestic violence against men were recorded in the survey, the incidence was generally lower. In addition, statistics from the Domestic violence and victim support Unit (DOVVSU) indicate that the number of reported defilement cases between 2012 and 2016 was 5581: these numbers are generally agreed by professionals and practitioners as woefully under reported because many victims suffer these crimes at the hands of family members or persons known to them.

Further, it has been widely reported that traditional authorities and family heads shield perpetrators of these crimes instead of protecting women and children :the most recent one being the alleged defilement of a 4 year old girl I Assin A dad I enter."

Ms. Patricia Isabella Essel explained that, "there are still significant challenges which should be addressed with regards to the implementation of the Domestic violence Act. These include inadequate funding for DOVVSU,  the non - operation of the Domestic violence fund, the need for national shelters for gender based violence survivor and the low convictions of domestic violence cases reported to DOVVSU Another growing concern is the fact that defilement is increasing and also becoming socially acceptable in some communities.

WILDAF-GHANA on this occasion,wishes to encourage the Government of Ghana, all stakeholders and the  general public to come together to end gender based violence. There is the need to actively engaged men and boys as advocates to end gender discrimination and gender based violence. We call on traditional and religious leaders to join the fight by publicly condemning acts of gender based violence in their communities,she said.

In conclusion,Ms. Patricia Isabella Easel said, we  are all calling on the Government to :

* Reconstitute the  Domestic violence Management Board to enable implementation of section 41 of the DV Act 2007,(Act.731).

*As a matter of urgency, resource the Domestic violence fund and provide free medical care for domestic violence survivors as stimulated in the sections 8(3) and 29 of the Domestic violence Act ,2007(Act 732) and it's Legislative instrument.

*Provide adequate assistance and protection to women survivors of violence, by equipping shelters and crisis centre, especially in rural and remote areas.

*work towards the decentralisation of Domestic violence and victim support Unit in remote areas and strengthen cooperation  with NGOs providing shelters and rehabilitation to victims.

*Build capacity of key actors including prosecutor, crime officers and medical officials among other to ensure proper management of domestic violence cases,she said.

Source: Kofi Dwumah /

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