Today, March 8, 2013 is International Women's Day (IWD).
International Women's Day has been observed since the early 1900s. Over time and distance, the struggle for equal rights of women has progressed. As ActionAid Ghana joins women and girls all over the world to celebrate their achievements, we also ask all women to remain united, vigilant and tenacious for further sustainable change.
This is because AAG recognizes that there is still more work to be done to free our societies of the violence women and girls suffer.
Eradicating violence against women in Ghana is bedeviled with many impediments. Integral among them are attitudes, beliefs and cultural practices and actions which have perpetuated violence against women and girls.
ActionAid Ghana is concerned that the Legislative Instrument (LI) that is necessary to make the DV Act 732 (2007) fully operational is not in place. ActionAid Ghana will continue to work with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Ministry of Justice and Attorney General's Department and the Legislature to ensure that the LI is in place.
Marriage by abduction is another form of violence still prevalent in most communities in which AAG works in Northern Ghana. Abduction is a negative cultural practice whereby young girls in their teens are forced into marriage against their will. This practice apart from denying girls their right to education is illegal as it breaches their freedom to associate and also violates the law which sets the marriageable minimum age at 18years. AAG frowns on this practice and has been working with relevant government institutions, traditional and opinion leaders, and women's groups to eliminate it. And as we celebrate this year's IWD, we call on all stakeholders and government agencies to work in unison to ensure that this practice becomes history.
As we celebrate IWD, we (AAG) also recall our collective efforts in the fight against witchcraft accusations and the inhuman conditions that prevailed in the alleged witches' camps. Again, we recognize the tremendous impact these efforts have brought by giving space, face and voice to the inmates of these camps leading to the formation of the Committee on Reintegration and Disbandment of Alleged Witches' Camps. ActionAid Ghana is still committed to working together with all stakeholders to ensure that the roadmap to the reintegration and disbandment of all witches' camps is followed and all activities in the plan implemented successfully.
ActionAid Ghana congratulates all women of Ghana, women groups and leaders and call on government and all agencies to ensure a violence-free environment for all women and girls in Ghana.
For further enquiries, contact the following: Washington M. Nuworkpor, Communication & Public Relations Coordinator (020 8170286) Adwoa Kwateng Kluvitse, Country Director (024 4317560)
Issued by ActionAid Ghana:
ActionAid is a global movement of people working together to further human rights for all and defeat poverty.