The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) joins the world to mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. This Day is commemorated on the 25th day of November each year. This year’s celebration is under the theme: Orange the World: End Violence Against Women Now!
The premise of the Day is to raise awareness of the fact that women around the world are subjected to rape, domestic violence, and other forms of violence. Furthermore, one of the aims of the Day is to highlight the scale and the true nature of the issues of violence against women which are often hidden and under-reported.
Statistics published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicate that 1 in 3 women and girls experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime usually by their partners (husbands/boyfriends).
According to the 2021 UN Women report based on data from 13 countries since the COVID-19 pandemic, shows that 1 in 2 women reported that they or a woman they know have experienced some form of violence since the pandemic.
In Ghana, despite the enactment of the Domestic Violence Act 2007 (Act 732), there has been an upsurge in cases of violence against women. For instance, the recent incident of the missing Takoradi girls, who were later confirmed dead as well as the murder of several women in bizarre circumstances. It is against this background that the Commission reminds citizens and stakeholders of the need to respect the dignity of women as stated in Article 15 clause 1 of the 1992 Constitution that “The dignity of all persons shall be inviolable” as well as protect women to help fight against gender-based violence in the society. The NCCE is of the conviction that, advocacy and awareness creation initiatives to communicate and mobilize community members to address violence is critical.
The Commission urges women and citizens to report perpetrators of any form of violence against women to the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit of the Ghana Police Service, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), and other relevant institutions and not condone acts that denigrate, dehumanize, maim and violate the right of women for swift action to be taken in accordance with the law. The Commission further encourages victims of violence to report their abusers to the relevant authority to ensure justice is served.
Indeed, Kofi Annan’s statement that “Violence against women is perhaps the most shameful human rights violation, and it is perhaps the most pervasive. It knows no boundaries of geography, culture, or wealth. As long as it continues, we cannot claim to be making real progress towards equality, development, and peace”, is a clarion call for all to join efforts to end violence against women.