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13.04.2007 General News

“Girls first sexual intercourse through coercion”

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The Administrator of the Kumasi branch of the Federation of International Women Lawyers (FIDA), Miss Eudora Oppong, says statistics show that 18 per cent of all girls in Ghana had their first sexual intercourse through coercion.

She said statistics from the Domestic Violence Victims Support Unit of the Ghana Police Service reveal that 90 per cent of all domestic violence victims are women there is no justification whatsoever for violence against women.

Miss Oppong was speaking at a FIDA-Ghana legal outreach programme for 100 participants, mostly women drawn from civil society groups in the Dormaa District at Dormaa Ahenkro.

She said there is equally no reason why any woman should be abused in her own home.

She said the acts of domestic violence "render victims to imminent harm as well as indelible psychological trauma for the rest of their lives."

World Day of Prayer, a German non-governmental organisation sponsored the workshop under the theme, "Improving women's access to justice."

It was aimed at exposing participants to the Domestic Violence Bill, which is awaiting Presidential assent, the Intestate Succession Law, PNDCL III, the Children's Act (Act 560) and the laws on marriage.

She emphasized that the biggest impacts of cyclical violence on victims are embarrassment and perpetual isolation from family and friends. Miss Oppong noted that the efforts of the few domestic violence victims who attempt to reach out were often sabotaged by their partners through rude and obnoxious behaviours.

She declared that the situation ought to change to provide women with enough power to execute their traditional responsibilities of taking care of the human and material resources of their entire families.

On the Intestate Succession Law PNDCL III, Madam Victoria Owusu Kyeremaa, Brong Ahafo Regional Department of Women, urged spouses to assist their partners to put in place viable mechanisms for the smooth devolution of their estate before death so as to avoid any tussles over it.

She reminded widows that those children of their husbands, whether born in or out of wedlock were qualified beneficiaries of their father's estate hence the need to take care not to infringe on the rights of such children.

Source: The Accra Daily Mail

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