The United Nations (UN) Assembly in 1999 designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW). The event also marks the commencement of the celebration of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.
During the period, governments, international organisations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) reaffirm their support to avoid violence against women and organise activities designed to raise public awareness of the problem.
Nearly two decades after the UN General Assembly established the IDEVAW, governments and organisations, both governmental and non-governmental, continue to recognise violence against women as a persistent threat and obstacle to achieving women’s equality.
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The UN defines violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”
In a statement issued last Thursday in relation to the celebration, the Executive Director of New Vision Foundation-International (NVFI), an NGO, Mr Gabriel Adams, called on governments to show more commitment to the elimination of violence against women by ensuring that funds were committed in the national budget for programmes and interventions on violence against women.
He noted that, “In our Ghanaian society today, women are subjected to discriminatory cultural practices that expose them to violence,” adding that: “At the workplace, women often found themselves in a similar atmosphere of abuse, including sexual harassment and verbal abuse which often left psychological scars that were even more damaging than physical abuse.”
Mr Adams disclosed that about 74 per cent of female employees experienced sexual harassment within the working environment, while one in three women suffered physical violence, with 27 per cent of women being sexually abused and five per cent of women suffering from female genital mutilation.
He noted that the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls was crucial to the realisation of gender equality and for the empowerment of all women and girls.
Mr Adams emphasised that combating violence against women and girls remained one of their key priorities, pointing out that the NVFI was committed to playing its part in the agenda of eliminating violence against women in Ghana.
“There should not be any excuse or immunity for perpetrators of violence against women and girls. We must all come together as Ghanaians and intensify our individual and collective efforts to prevent and eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls in Ghana,” he stated.
Source: Daily Graphic
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