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09.03.2009 Social News

Domestic violence is still a problem in Ghana – Director


Statistics from the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) indicate that domestic violence is still a problem in Ghana as 708 defilement cases were recorded against girls and five cases against boys from January to December 2008.

The suspected perpetrators were 713 males as against 13 females and in the case of rape, 227 females were raped with all the suspected perpetrators being men.

Three thousand, eight hundred and eighty-one females suffered non-maintenance as against 517 males with suspected perpetrators being 4,330 males and 186 females.

Nine females also suffered compulsory marriages during the period.

Madam Cate Bob Milliar, Upper West Regional Director of the Department of Women, announced these at this year's International Women's Day celebration at Wa on Monday.

She said 26 defilement cases were recorded in the Upper West Region alone in 2008 as against 14 cases in 2007.

Cases of assault rose from 36 in 2007 to 65 in 2008 and abduction 15 to 36 in the region. Failure to provide basic amenities by both men and women increased to 65 cases in 2008 from 40 in 2007.

Madam Milliar said the statistics indicate that more women and girls suffer violence with men being the most perpetrators even though the Domestic Violence Bill had been passed into law.

She called for collaborated efforts between men and women at home, workplaces, schools and in the communities to achieve a successful end to violence against women and girls.

“There is the need to harness the contribution of our male counterparts since their input is critical to achieving the desired impact in reducing the prevalence,” Madam Milliar said.

Madam Milliar urged civil society organisations, gender advocacy groups and government agencies responsible for the implementation of gender based laws not to relent in their efforts to end violence against women and girls.

“We need to condemn attitudes and behaviour that condone, tolerate excuse or ignore violence committed against women. There is also the need to increase funding for services for victims and survivals as well as political will to create a supportive environment to make good on existing policy commitment.”

Mr. Mahmud Khalid, Upper West Regional Minister, said enhancement of the capacity of women should be the focal point of improving their welfare and that could be attained through education.

He appealed to parents to take more interest in the education of their children, especially the girl-child to attain skills and vocation.

Mr. Khalid suggested the abolishment of early marriages, elopement, female genital mutilation and other forms of cultural discrimination that undermined the continuous access of girls to education and their future development.

He said government was committed to ensuring the effective contribution of women in all aspects of national life hence it's pledge to provide 40 per cent of positions to women in public offices as stated in the NDC party's manifesto.

The Regional Minister admonished the women about the high prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS in the region and urged them to be wary of it.