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14.04.2004 General News

Men now report their spouses to WAJU

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Accra, April 14, GNA- Husbands and male partners have now resorted to reporting their wives to the Women and Juvenile Unit (WAJU) at the slightest provocations.

Mr Elvis Sadongo, Inspector of Police at the Unit said such men in recent times come to the Unit to report their spouses citing disrespect and irresponsible behaviours apparently for WAJU to talk to them. He described the situation as a ploy by such men because they feel with the increasing awareness of domestic violence and the women rights issues they were being push to the wall by their female partners. "Therefore they think if they should rush to the WAJU while their wives are giving them problems and knowing that when they beat them they would be reported by their wives, it's prudent and safe for the men to come and report first," he explained.

Mr Sadongo was speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) when he addressed students of the Social Work Departments of the University of Ghana, Legon, at their annual week celebration on women and child rights issues in Accra.

The week has the theme "Children and Women Rights Protection in Ghana - Where Are We as a Country?".

It has outlined a host of activities including a forum for all political parties and a clean-up exercise in Accra Central. Mr Sadongo said the WAJU has now become like any "busy hospital" saying the number of people that come there daily to report cases of abuse kept increasing.

"As high as 16 cases of defilement was reported in 14 days in January this year, giving a clear indication of the situation. But what is disturbing is the fact that the ages of the perpetrators keep dropping in recent times.

"Children between the ages of 13 to 15 years are also becoming perpetrators of defilement and rapes cases.

Mrs Angela Dwamena-Aboagye, Executive Director of the Ark Foundation, an Advocacy group on the women and child rights speaking on the topic "National and Regional Conventions and legislations on the Rights of Women in Ghana" said having done enough by way of legislations, it seemed the government lacked the political will to enforce the laws.

"There seemed to be a lack of political will to tackle the extent of the rights of women and children in the country even though Ghana appears to always be the first when it comes to ratification of conventions and legislations on such rights" she noted. She said the issue of power plays a crucial role in the enforcement of the laws on human rights especially on women and children who are more vulnerable.

Mrs Dwamena-Aboagye told the students that as social workers it was incumbent as they provide their services to people to also play advocacy role in ensuring that such rights do not remained in our statutes books rather enforced.

She said the problem of human rights and rights against women and children has become a problem, which needed a well-informed society in order to be able to carry out an affirmative action to compel people to respect and obey such rights.

Mr George Dah, President of the Social Work Student's Association urged government and authorities not to relegate human rights issues at the background when it come to policy and decision making but rather factor them in every aspects of lives.

He said Ghana has come far and it was time we knew that structures that were put up should be disable-friendly.

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