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08.03.2007 General News

Make Domestic Violence Law operational - NGO

By : GNA

The Centre for Human Rights Education and Advocacy, a Tamale based non-governmental organisation has commended Parliament for passing the Domestic Violence Law.

The NGO has however called on the government and civil society organisations to establish the necessary structures to make the law operational.

It has also called for the establishment of "Temporal Support Homes or Centres" where victims of domestic violence could seek protection and support while receiving counselling and treatment.

In a statement issued and signed by its Executive Director, Issah Mahmudu on Thursday to mark this year's International Women's Day, it noted that many women in Ghana were still deprived of some of the basic human rights they were entitled to under the constitution.

The statement said human rights abuse such as rape, defilement, assault and inhuman cultural practices including widowhood rites, female genital mutilation, suspicion of witchcraft, banishment and forced marriages were still common among Ghanaian women.

These violations, it noted, suggested that there has been lack of attention to those issues and welfare of women by policy makers.

The NGO acknowledged the active participation of Ghanaian women in the struggle for independence and paid tribute the late Madam Hannah Cudjo and many other women who played a yeoman's job to obtain independence for Ghana.

On the policy of granting scale credit facilities to women as a means to reduce poverty it said the policy needed to be reviewed to give it a human face.

"Some of the women who had benefited from such credits ended up becoming heavily indebted and worse off than they were before. Some also fled their homes and communities, deserting their families and children because they are unable to repay their loans due to high interest rates".

The NGO therefore called on the government to give financial management training to beneficiaries to enable them to effectively invest the funds profitably.

The organisation called on the government to come out with a policy framework to curtail the Kayayo phenomena.

It noted: "Until serious efforts are made to bridge the development disparity between the north and south, females from the north will continue to travel down south to engage such businesses".

"The northern economy is not as poor as it is being portrayed. What the north needs are not handouts by way of charity, it needs pragmatic policies to revamp the: rice, cotton, tomato and sheanuts industries to create employment and generate income for the people."

Source: GNA

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