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Regional News of Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Source: Graphic Online

Eschew violence against women

The Network for Women Rights in Ghana (NETRIGHT) has called for a change in the perceptions and attitudes of both genders that justified violence against women (VAW).

According to the group, there were still strong cultural and traditional perceptions that made VAW acceptable in some jurisdiction.

Therefore, they called on traditional and political leaders and other stakeholders to help through outreaches workshops and other community programmes to eradicate the perceptions that defined violence against women.

Giving an overview of the status of women for 2013, Ms Hilary Gbedemah, a member of NETRIGHT, said the status of women still needed to be improved, despite the fact that few women had been appointed to higher and political positions.

Ms Gbedemah, who is the Director of Law Consult, called for the reactivation of the Domestic Violence Board to address violence issues, adding that budget allocation to institutions dealing with violence must be increased.

She called for a defensive action to deal with the emergence of child prostitutions and the new forms of VAW in the country.

As key players in the market places, Ms Gbedemah urged the government to engage women in the design and execution of the proposed modern markets to be built.

She expressed happiness at the proposed new markets, and said women deserved to work in decent market environments that have toilet facilities, well connected electricity and potable water.

Ms Gbedemah said the government should help to empower women in the rural areas, especially in the acquisition of lands for farming.

She condemned cyber violence, the practice of photographing intimate encounters between males and females posted on the Internet, verbal violence, particularly against women in politics, harassment and indecent text messages.

She encouraged the media to help stop portraying women as sex objects.

She appealed to policy makers to revise old policies that sought to prevent pregnant teachers, nursing and midwifery trainees from taking final examinations or staying in school to continue their programmes of study.

In his contribution, Dr James D. Clayman of the LEKMA Hospital suggested that the government should consider including ambulance lanes during road constructions to ensure that emergency cases were easily and promptly attended to.

In dealing with maternal issues, he said the ambulance lanes would help transport women who needed to be referred to other hospitals easily adding that delay in the traffic sometimes led to the death of most women in labour.

He also emphasised that one factor that also contributed to maternal death was the attitude of some health workers and their slow response to emergency cases.

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