By Anthony Apubeo,
Bolgatanga, June 30,
GNA – Widows and Orphans in the Upper East Region have called on government to
as a matter of urgency implement actionable policies and programmes geared at
ending gender-based violence to promote sustainable national development.
They recognized the
efforts of both current and past governments in attempt to address the canker
especially through the enactment of the Domestic Violence Act of 2007, Act 732,
implementation of the livelihood empowerment against poverty among others but
widows and their children still faced discrimination and violence and urged
government to do more.
These were contained
in a communiqué, presented by the widows and orphans to Madam Paulina Patience
Abyage, the Upper East Regional Minister, in Bolgatanga as part of activities
to mark the International Widow’s Day.
celebration was preceded by route march on the principal streets of Bolgatanga
with the widows and their children carrying placards with inscriptions such as
‘Widows are good decision makers’, ‘Orphan girls not brides’, ‘Decentralize
DOVVSU’, ‘Make widows issues more
visible’ among others.
The event on the
theme: “Claiming our rights through amplified voices for societal development”
was organized by the Widows and Orphans Movement (WOM), a gender-based advocacy
organization with funding support from Action Aid Ghana, a Non Governmental
Widows Day is a United Nations (UN) ratified day of action to address the
poverty and injustices confronting millions of widows and their children
through awareness creation about the issues militating against them.
Madam Mary Ayine,
one of the widows who read the communiqué on behalf of her colleagues and their
children indicated that Ghana had signed and ratified some international
conventions such as the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of
Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the invaluable contribution of women to
national development, and yet, widows continued to face numerous challenges
including human rights abuses, gender inequality among others, which impeded
They said “it
remains a fact that, Ghana lost an average of GH¢73.5 million due to violence
against women and girls in 2016 alone. One in every three women still
experienced violence whilst many children continue to miss school due to the
violence experienced by their mothers.
“We are quick to add
that this region will remain one of the poorest if we do not equally prioritize
the issues widows and their children faced.
They demanded that
the government, through the Regional Minister should take steps to decentralize
the offices of the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) to the
district levels and ensure the regional police command post qualified personnel
to those offices to ensure that widows and children whose rights have been
abused could seek redress.
They further called
on government to adequately allocate funds to sensitize communities on the
rights of widows and their children and implement interventions, which would
effectively ensure inclusive governance.
Habila, Assistant Director of Administration, Upper East Regional Coordinating
Council, who received the communiqué on behalf of the Regional Minister,
promised to relay their concerns to the Regional Minister for the appropriate
actions to be taken.
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