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14.12.2005 Regional News

Government asked to stem domestic violence

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Kumasi, Dec 14, GNA - Violence against women and children in the domestic setting remains the major human right abuse in Ghana despite campaigns by women advocacy groups and human rights activists, Mrs Elizabeth Adubofour, Project Co-ordinator of the Centre for Development of People (CEDEP), has said. She said gender studies and human rights documentation by civil society groups and a recent national survey attested to this fact although Ghana is among the countries that were the first to ratify conventions guaranteeing the rights of women and children.

Mrs Adubofour was speaking at a seminar held in Kumasi on Tuesday to climax 16 days of activism against gender violence. This is done each year as a strategy by human groups advocacy groups all around the world to call for the total elimination of all forms of violence against women. She appealed to the government and relevant sector ministries to do something very concrete to completely wipe out inhuman and obnoxious practices meted out to women and children in the home setting where they are supposed to be given comfort and security.

The day's seminar, which attracted civil society organizations, security services and the general public, was under the theme, "For the Health of Women, For the Health of the World, No More domestic Violence".

Mrs Adubofour said the unhealthy trend and open gender inequality in the socio-economic fabric of the nation has relegated to the background women who form the majority of the country's population. ''Several customary practices promoting gender violence such as wife beating, injurious widowhood rites, forced marriages, female genital mutilation and rape have left most women incapacitated and ineffective to contribute to socio-economic development", she said.