Madam Afua Addotey, the Board Chairperson, Women in Law and Development Africa (WiLDAF-Ghana), has called on government to reconstitute the Domestic Violence Management Board to enable a smooth implementation of section 41 of the D.V Act 2007, (Act 731).
The Domestic Violence Act is intended to protect all, especially women, and punish offenders of the crime. Madam Addotey made the call at a press conference in Accra in a speech read on her behalf to launch the World Campaign of 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence.
It commences on the International Day for the Elimination of violence against women from November 25th to December 10 on the theme "Leave No One Behind; End Violence Against Women and Girls".
Madam Addotey said a recent national Domestic Violence prevalence research conducted by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in 2016, indicated that nearly 28 per cent of women experienced at least one form of domestic violence in the 12 months prior to the survey.
There is therefore the need for an effective implementation of the Act, she noted.
She said the survey also recorded violence cases against men though they were lower than that of women called for the fight against all forms of violence against women.
Violence against women and girls have a devastating impact on individuals and society as a whole, she stated, adding that it drained resources which could be channeled into other useful ventures and created a cycle of violence against the most vulnerable in society.
The WILDAF Board Chairperson commended the Government making efforts to end the incidence including promulgating and amending laws to address gender based violence such as the recent passing of the Legislative Instrument (LI) of the Domestic Violence Act.
The therefore called on stakeholders to come together to end gender based violence.
"Build capacity of key actors including prosecutors, crime officers, medical officials among others to ensure proper management of domestic violence cases,” she said. Mrs Susan Aryeetey, The Acting Executive Director, International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) speaking on the rape in Ghana, urged traditional authorities not to shield perpetrators of those crimes but rather report them to appropriate authorities to protect women and children.
She called for a change in attitude in the country saying, “If we are rigid about culture, processes, and systems then we will not get anywhere. “This is important because things are changing and we need to change the narrative as well to be able to get the things we require as a country”.
The press conference was organised in collaboration with OXFAM in Ghana, Crossroads International and Care International Ghana. Representatives of the development partners pledged their commitment to empower marginalised groups, especially the poor, women and the youth.