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Regional News of Saturday, 28 November 2015

Source: GNA

EU initiative for elimination of violence against women

The European Union together with UN Agencies in Ghana and the Government has launched an initiative to support the global ’16 Days of Activism, Unite to end violence against women’.

The 16-Day campaign, which starts from November 25, a day designed by the United Nations General Assembly as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women ends on December 10, a Human Rights Day.

The campaign is on the theme: “The Role of Education on Fighting Violence against Women and Children”.

Mr William Hanna, Ambassador of the European Union, said the Day seeks to raise awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue at the local, national, regional and international levels.

He said it would also strengthen local work around violence against women and establish a clear link between local and international work to end violence against women.

“Providing a forum in which organizers can develop and share new and effective strategies and demonstrating the solidarity of women around the world organizing against violence,” he said.

Mr Hanna said there is the urgent need for a concerted effort in fighting gender-based violence, where prevention should start early in life by educating and working with young boys and girls in promoting respectful relationships and gender equality.

“We need to promote women’s economic autonomy and security as well as increasing women’s participation and decision making power not just in the home but also in their public life and politics.

The EU Ambassador said the Union was currently spending 600,000 Euros to support three civil society organisations promoting the protection of the rights of children including young girls against early and forced marriages.

He said these efforts were making an impact at the community level in the Northern, Brong Ahafo and Central Regions.

He said Government must continue the efforts to educate children better and to change the behaviour and attitude of boys and men.

“We must increase the capacity of states agencies with the mandate for combating violence and enforcement of relevant laws and politics,” he added.

Mr John Alexander Ackon, the Deputy of Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, said government has initiated many policies to end gender-based violence in the country.

He said government has been involved with the international community in the preparation of the Sustainable Development Agenda replacing the Millennium Development Goals.

He said the cost of violence against women and children were extremely high and urged the citizenry to end violence against them.

He said the Ministry has also established gender-based response centers in some markets in Accra.