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27.07.2004 General News

Asmah: Domestic Violence Bill will definitely be passed

By GNA

Accra, July 27, GNA - Mrs Gladys Asmah, Minister of Women and Children's Affairs, on Tuesday said the Domestic Violence Bill would definitely be passed although she could not give the time when this would be done.

She explained that consultations and sensitisation programmes were still ongoing in the District and Regional Capitals with five more Regions yet to be covered.

Mrs Asmah gave the assurance when she met representatives of the National Coalition on Domestic Violence Legislation in Ghana to express the Ministry's appreciation for the role being played by the coalition in ensuring that education and sensitisation campaigns were held in the various communities on the provisions of the Bill.

She explained that apart from the national launch of the programme, the Ministry had toured the Western, Brong Ahafo, Volta, Upper East and Northern Regions to sensitise the people and collate their concerns on the Bill.

Mrs Asmah said a request had been made to Cabinet for funds to start the next round of sensitisation campaigns for the rest of the regions, "so we can collate everybody's view on the Bill because it affects every family in Ghana.

"We do not have to come out with a law that we would keep on amending, but to have something that would protect everybody." Mrs Asmah said, the Bill had been translated into seven local languages - Fante, Ga, Kassim, Ashanti Twi, Nzema, Wala and Dagbani - for the people to better understand the issues, give their views and support it when it was finally passed.

She said the main concern being expressed by the people against the Bill was the part dealing with marital rape, which was causing a lot of confusion, adding that there was, therefore, the need for more consultations on that subject.

Nana Asantewaa Afedzinu, Leader of the Coalition, thanked the Minister for the assurance but urged the Ministry to speed up the action to save people from violence and deter perpetrators from committing such acts.

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