Ekumfi Immuna (C/R), Dec 22, GNA - A cross section of men at Ekumfi Immuna in the Ekumfi District of the Central Region, have advised their counterparts across the country to endeavour to end the prevalence of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV).
The all men forum including traditional and religious leaders, fishermen, artisans, opinion leaders, among others, it is time to change the status quo of SGBV in the country and this could be effective if men, who are often the perpetrators, assume the role of change agents.
It was organised by the Regional office of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in partnership with Danish Development Assistance to Ghana at Immuna.
Dubbed: 'Men as change agents in Ending Sexual and Gender Based Violence in Ghana,' the durbar was part of series of community-based activities aimed, among others, at creating awareness of SGBV to enable people know their role in ending the violence.
Statistics available at the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service in the Region indicates 250,000 SGBV cases annually, since 2010.
Some of the participants also indicated the need for women to be seen as help mates of men but not slaves.
They advised that men should refrain from shirking their responsibilities and resorting to violence whenever there is misunderstanding.
'Who marries his enemy? My brothers, Let us control ourselves', one of the men stated, attracting applauds and cheers from his counterparts and some female traders at the market square/ community centre where the event was held.
The programmes Manager of The Ark Foundation, Mr Samuel Kyei-Berko, speaking on the impact of SGBV and role of men as change agents, noted that the campaign for the end of SGBV is not to make women superior but to ensure gender equity and peaceful co-existence.
He pointed out that some customs and traditional practices that relegate women to the background is limiting the capabilities of females.
He explained that females, who could excel at certain sectors of work, are often denied the opportunity.
Mr Kyei-Berko called on traditional, religious and opinion leaders to take advantage of every community gathering to speak about the need to end SGBV since it affects not only the women but the society as a whole.
Deputy Superintendent of Police George Appiah-Sakyi Regional Coordinator of DOVVSU, who spoke on 'laws addressing SGBV in Ghana and Available services', encouraged victims of violence to report their abusers to the police since there are a number of laws to protect them.
Mrs Thywill Eyram Kpe, Regional Director of the Department of Gender, expressed worry that parental neglect is high in the region, expressing hope that such dialogues would inspire men to get involved in the fight against SGBV.