The Rural Initiatives for Self-Empowerment-Ghana (RISE-Ghana), an advocacy Non-Governmental Organization, has engaged stakeholders in the Upper East Region to address gaps in seeking justice for victims of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV).
The engagement which brought together representatives from the communities, professional associations, Civil Society Organizations, Sustainable Development Goals Members, NGOs and persons with disability among others, was to share ideas on how to address service delivery barriers to victims and survivors of SGBV.
The event was part of a four year-project dubbed, “ENOUGH! Empowering women, girls, boys and men to take positive action in ending sexual and gender-based violence in Ghana, Liberia and Mali.”
It is being implemented in partnership with Oxfam Ghana and Women in Law and Development (WiLDAF) with funding support from the European Union (EU).
Ms Jaw-haratu Amadu, Project Manager of the ENOUGH project, RISE-Ghana, said the NGO with its partners had over the years worked to end SGBV and help victims and survivors of such abuse to get justice but had always been encountered difficulties.
She indicated that the engagement was to enable major stakeholders deliberate on critical issues of SGBV and the barriers impeding efforts to secure justice for survivors of the various abuses.
Ms Amadu said women and girls were the most affected because of their vulnerability and that addressing issues affecting the growth and development of women and girls was a step in the right direction to contributing to achieve the SDGs.
The Project Manager said survivors of abuses particularly rape and defilement had difficulty in accessing medical reports as the doctors charged them for it and the situation delays and affects justice delivery.
She further identified traditional, community and political leaders’ interference as a major factor that impeded the delivery of justice to victims of SGBV.
Ms Amadu called for collective efforts to intensify education on adverse effects of SGBV on the development agenda of the country and urged communities not to shield perpetrators of SGBV but expose them so that they would be punished to serve as deterrent to others.
Mr Awal Ahmed Kariama, the Executive Director, RISE-Ghana said traditional authorities needed to take the lead in the fight against the menace by abolishing certain cultural beliefs and systems that impeded victims of abuse from reporting to seek justice.
Madam Mary Azika, a Midwife at the Bolgatanga Municipal Health Directorate, said institutions which provided services to victims of SGBV needed to be decentralized to enable victims to report cases of abuse for investigation.
Source: Ghana News Agency