WiLDAF empowers girls to discuss violence prevention
The Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF), has inaugurated an empowerment club for girls to discuss their adolescent challenges and prevent violence meted out to them.
The initiative sponsored by Crossroads International and TT Brothers Company Limited and outdoored at the St Barnabas Anglican School in Accra, seeks to empower the girls with knowledge on Children’s rights, Domestic Violence, Gender Based Violence, peer counseling and human anatomy with focus on sexual abuses.
Mrs Melody Darkeh, Acting National Programmes Coordinator of WiLDAF, who addressed the ceremony, said sexual abuse and violence in Ghanaian schools are increasing while abuses of children including defilement cases and child marriage had dominated the media over the years.
The club would therefore facilitate discussions on adolescent sexual reproductive health, healthy relationships, life and leadership skills to help them fight against gender based violence in schools and communities, she added
Statistics from the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit of the Ghana Police Service showed that an alarming total of 1,296 girls in the country were defiled, while 335 other women were raped in 2014, she added.
Mrs Darkeh noted that the girls are now able to engage the media on their own, adding that currently one of the girl’s club had been given a slot to discuss issues concerning boys and girls every week.
Mrs Catherine Mikado, Director In-Charge of the Girls Unit at the Ghana Education Service said matters concerning girls should not be down played and asked parents to come up with new ideas to help train their children especially the girl- child.
This is not to say boys are not important but rather both should be given equal opportunities to enable girls get educated to the highest levels just like boys to be culturally, economically and politically empowered.
Mrs Milikado urged parents to entreat their girls to achieve their dreams by giving them proper education and encouragement and allow the club to impact them positively.
Ms Eva Lokko, Chief Executive Officer of Totally Youth and the PPP Parliamentary Aspirant for the Korle Klottey said women should unite and help develop the nation.
Ms Lokko expressed regret that early childhood marriage had brought about poverty because it deprives the girl- child of the needed education to enable her impact on society and asked stakeholders to ensure that perpetrators are dealt with.
Mr Godwin Mensah, Deputy Coordinator for Social Welfare Department said it is the right of children to have good education, good health as well as shelter and urged parents to be responsible and provide those necessities for their children.
The club has branches in Wegbe Kpalime in the Volta Region, Nkran Nkresi and Kyinaso in the Central Region, Osu Presbyterian Preparatory and LEKMA 10 & 12 Basic School in the Greater Accra region.