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Regional News of Saturday, 31 December 2005

Source: GNA

Address violence against women - NGO Official

Ho, Dec. 31, GNA-Ms. Araba Tachie-Menson, Executive Director of Self-Employed Women Union (SEWU), a Non-Governmental Organization on Friday expressed worry about the inability of the world to deal decisively with violence against women.

She acknowledged, that national and international interventions, not withstanding, women and girls were still relegated to the background and continued to be victims of discrimination and violence. Ms. Tachie-Menson was speaking at a day's workshop on violence against women for 100 women in the Ho Municipality. She said it was unfortunate that in Africa, Asia and other parts of the world, bad cultural practices and customs still determined the fate of women.

Ms. Tachie-Menson said discrimination and abuses of the rights of women and girls often took the form of denial of adequate food, health and education especially in countries plagued by poverty compared with their male counterparts.

She said it was true that both men and women suffer where poverty and hunger were the "daily fare", but women suffer disproportionately, adding that "14 percent of girls are malnourished, compared with only 5 percent of boys and twice as many boys as girls are sent to health centres", she said.

Ms Tachie-Menson said rape continues to be a widespread abuse that remained undocumented in most areas, though studies had shown that in some countries, one in six women is raped during her lifetime. She noted that this ' apartheid of gender' does not disappear when girls reach adulthood but that poverty, violence and unrelenting toil were too often a woman's lot, just because she was a woman. Ms Tachie-Menson therefore, called on women groups in the country to intensify their collective action to strengthen the campaign against discrimination against women, while continuing to educate their colleagues on their rights.

The Reverend Helen Agbetsoamedo, National Women's Coordinator of Jubilee International Churches in a welcome address said SEWU, which is a union for working women in the informal sector was formed to train, motivate and to strengthen women to realize their potentials.