A day’s engagement forum to galvanise the support of youth groups and other stakeholders in the Northern Region towards ending Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) has been held in Tamale.
The event, held under the theme: ‘Leveraging on the Energy of Young Advocates to End Sexual Violence in Ghana,’ was tailored to provide a common platform for young advocates of SGBV to interact with stakeholders and other youth groups on measures needed to curb violence against women and girls in the country.
It was organised by the Savannah Women Integrated Development Agency (SWIDA-GH) under its KASA project in partnership with the Media and Communication Studies Department of the Tamale Technical University (TaTU).
Other partners are the Centre for Equity and Equal Opportunities, African Women’s Development Fund, and funded by Ford Foundation and Open Society Initiative for Africa (OSIWA)
Participants were drawn from selected Senior High Schools in Tamale, young female leaders, women commissioners from tertiary i
nstitutions in the region, and male champions among other stakeholders within the women and girls’ empowerment space.
Hajia Alima Sagito-Saeed, the Executive Director, SWIDA-GH, at the event, said under the project sought to equip young women to legitimately advocate for their rights, some female leaders and male champions were trained on SGBV to take up responsibility as advocates within their communities.
The forum, she said, was to enable them to share their experiences, challenges and expertise with other young people to trigger a more comprehensive approach to addressing sexual violence.
‘We have trained them with information as to how to report cases of abuse, the referral processes so that they can become the pillars and sources of direction for justice for other vulnerable groups in their communities,’ she said.
She called for a holistic approach by all stakeholders in dealing with issues of SGBV.
Madam Bushira Alhassan, the Acting Northern Regional Director of the Department of Gender, called fo
r peer-to-peer education and community sensitisation as a powerful tool for combating SGBV.
Madam Eugenia Baffour Bankoh, the Violence Prevention and Child Safety Strategist and Executive Director of Safe Space Foundation said to enhance psychosocial support for survivors of SGBV, it was important to create an atmosphere where survivors could confidently share their experiences without fear of judgement and intimidation to speed up their recovery.
Professor Adiza Sadik, the Dean of International Programmes and Institutional Linkages, and Head of the Centre for Equity and Equal Opportunities at TaTU, called for more advocacy and sensitisation, to break down cultural barriers that were not helpful in the fight against SGBV.
Sulemana Zakaria, a male champion under the project, whose advocacy campaign is centred on arts and films, shared his experience, saying it was an effective tool for creating awareness of SGBV.
Source: Ghana News Agency