ActionAid Ghana (AAG) has held street standpoints in Wa with key anti-gender-based Violence (GBV) messages on placards, to drum home the need for concerted efforts to end all forms of GBV in the region.
The activity formed part of the Organisation’s programme to mark this year’s 16 Days of Activism Against GBV on the theme: “Invest to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls”.
Members of the AAG’s Young Urban Women Movement (YUWM) were positioned at vantage points within the Wa township, including traffic lights and major road intersections and roundabouts.
They displayed placards with the inscriptions, such as: “Violence against women and girls CAN and MUST be prevented through sensitisation on women’s rights” and “We want and deserve a world where women and girls live free from fear and violence,” among others.
The campaign also sought to facilitate collaboration between stakeholders to act and embrace feminist action to prevent and end violence against women.
It was also to secure commitment to increase investment towards preventing and ending violence against women, including sexual violence during conflict.
Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) before the commencement of the activity, Madam Abiba Nibaradun, the Acting Upper West Regional Manager of AAG, said violence against women and girls remained the most pervasive human rights violation in the region, Ghana and globally.
“Despite widespread calls for a feminist just transition, the current economic, social, and political climate gives much cause for concern,” she explained.
She noted that with limited shelter and services for victims of abuse, rare access to justice for victims of abuse and the lack of a welfare framework, women who had experienced violence often had limited alternatives to escape abusive situations.
She said in response to this, AAG constructed a survivor shelter in Wa, which currently provided temporary accommodation for survivors of SGBV and facilitated processes for victims to access justice.
“Health impacts of violence can last a lifetime, affecting physical, mental, sexual, and reproductive health,” she stated.
Talking on the theme of the campaign, which focused on financing prevention strategies of violence before they occurred, Madam Nibaradun said it was part of the measures to promote women’s rights and decent work in line with AAG Country Strategy Paper VII (Active Citizenship for Social Justice).
She added that the regional programme also held radio discussions with YUWM representatives and other activists in the region to raise awareness of the issues of GBV in the region.
Adam Nibaradun, called on the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations to speed up processes for the ratification of the Violence and Harassment Convention 190, and for the Ghana Police Service to lift media blackout on the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unity (DOVVSU), to enable sensitisation and awareness creation on GBV.
The Acting Regional Manager also called for an end to austerity, which fueled violence against women and girls and for the government to increase investment in the DOVVSU labs countrywide, for women and girls everywhere to have access to the help they needed to end the menace.
Some participants during the street activism told the GNA that the exercise had engaged the motorists through the campaign messages on the placards.