Buffer for Women and Girls: A Response to SGBV in Ghana

Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) continues to be a pervasive problem for women and girls in Ghana. One of the many reasons why domestic violence lingers despite interventions to eradicate the act in Ghana is the inadequate protection services, specifically, shelters.

As part of efforts to meet the long overdue need for safe spaces for victims and survivors of abuse in Ghana, the UNFPA Ghana handed over a renovated and refurbished shelter to the Domestic Violence Secretariat of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP). The handing over was also part of the activities to mark the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.

Mr. Ojuolape, the Country Representative of UNFPA Ghana acknowledged both the global theme for the 16 Days of Activism which is, Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect! - as well as national theme: Accelerate Action to Prevent SGBV in the Wake of COVID-19 and the Role of Sustainable Funding. In his statement, Mr. Ojuolape indicated that the theme for this year is a wakeup call for all and sundry to work together and invest till the day where every incidence of sexual and gender-based violence is brought to zero. He commended MoGCSP, DoVVSU and all involved in the role play to bring SGBV to zero and, expressed the joy of the UNFPA Ghana in handing over the renovated shelter. He stated, “violence against women and girls is the most common human right violation in the world. Meanwhile its negative impacts still remain shrouded in silence and in shame”. Mr. Ojuolape remarked that victims require more than prosecution and the shelter will go a long way to help in the response to SBGV while safeguarding the rights of vulnerable girls and women.

The Chief Director of MoGCSP, Dr. Afisa Zakariah on behalf of the ministry expressed gratitude to the UNFPA Ghana for the generous support and stated that the ministry will work towards creating more shelters in other regions to avail safe spaces to victims in those regions and prevent them from traveling to seek help.

Chief Superintendent Alice Awarikaro, the Regional Coordinator of DOVVSU, who represented the of the National Coordinator also happily appreciated for the establishment of the shelter, recounting how victims were usually asked to return home to their perpetrators due to lack of shelter to keep them safe. She added that the clients would equally be grateful for the establishment of the shelter and urged the UNFPA to continue to support MoGCSP to ensure the continuous running of the facility.


By: Fatahiya Sumaila

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