Sunyani,The Ultimate Women Foundation, a women-centred non-governmental organization, has called for concerted efforts towards removing challenges inimical to the development of girls in the country.
As Ghana joins the rest of the world to celebrate this year’s International Day of the Girl Child, the Foundation said it was unhappy about persistent sexual abuse and exploitation among girls as well as early and forced marriages, particularly at the community level.
International Day of the Girl Child is celebrated on October 11 every year and is dedicated to the growth of girls around the world.
The United Nations Day focuses on the rights, safety and education of girls and its core objective is to make girls an active part of the progress of the world.
A statement issued and signed by Dr Freda Prempeh, the Member of Parliament for Tano North in the Ahafo Region and Founder of the Ultimate Women, and made available to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Sunyani, said everybody had a role to play in protecting girls from abuse.
Touching on the 2021 theme for the celebration “digital generation, our generation,” the statement asked social media actors, bloggers and mainstream reporters to check and use their platforms to highlight more on girls’ rights, abuses and exploitation to help bring about positive change in the society.
It observed sexual abuse and exploitation among girls and women remained the worst form of human rights violation, saying victims had gone through serious psychological effects and stigmatization, which impeded their growth.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by world leaders in 2015 embodied a roadmap for progress that is sustainable and leaving no one behind.
Therefore, achieving gender equality, women and girls empowerment is integral to each of the 17 goals.
“Only by ensuring the rights of women and girls across all the goals will we get to justice and inclusion, economies that work for all and sustaining our shared environment now and for future generations,” the statement indicated.
Empowering women and girls and promoting gender equality remained crucial to accelerating sustainable development.
“Ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls is not only a basic human right but it also has a multiplier effect across all other development areas,” the statement said.
The statement, therefore, called on traditional authorities, assembly members, civil society actors and media activists to collaborate effectively and help stem harmful traditional practices impeding the proper upbringing and development of the girl-child, particularly at the community levels.
The Foundation seeks to encourage and motivate women and girls to know their worth and to empower and position them to contribute to the development of society.
Source: Ghana News Agency