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General News | Nov 19, 2004

Domestic Violence Bill covers all in domestic setting

GNA

Accra, Nov. 19, GNA - The National Coalition on Domestic Violence Legislation in Ghana said on Friday that the Bill as it stood provided an understanding that all those who lived in the domestic setting were covered.

"The Bill in its domestic setting seeks to protect house helps, who are abused; elderly people, who are neglected and abused; boys, who are sodomized; girls, who are defiled and raped and indeed anybody who lives in a house," it said in a statement in Accra.

The Coalition noted that it was abuse, physical or psychological, that broke up any relationship not the reporting of the abuse. "In the world today, marriage has ceased to be a form of security for women. Marriage is now a mutual partnership where both parties contribute financially and emotionally to create a home they desire."

The Coalition noted that it was the perception that marriage was security for women that gave room for abuse.

"We believe that understanding gender roles is fundamental to national and international developmental activity."

It said the Ministry of Woman and Children's Affairs, as the government agency working in this vital sector, must recognize the importance of gender as the societal roles that had been associated with males and females over a period of time.

"Gender is a learned behaviour and as societies are dynamic gender roles can and do change over time."

The Coalition said it appreciated the contributions the Ministry had made towards micro-finance programmes for women.

"However, we would like to point out that without harmonious relations in household settings, there will continue to be broken homes and poverty will soar if domestic violence is not properly addressed."

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