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16 Days of Activism: DRAC demands economic support for survivors of Gender-Based Violence

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Development Research and Advocacy Centre (DRAC) is calling on the government to draft a bill that economically empowers survivors of gender-based violence and pass same into law. The bill should also clearly state the psychological support that survivors of violence would receive.

“We support the call for sustaining the gains and advocating for improved support systems. At the policy level, we are asking for the passage of the bill and economic empowerment support for survivors, psychological support, and guidance for survivors.”

DRAC made this call because it identified Gender-Based Violence (GBV) as largely unaddressed in Ghana due to cultural systems and beliefs.

“Our cultural beliefs, norms, customs, values, and other traditional practices remain our challenge in addressing GBV. Community members still believe in their customs and traditions and see nothing wrong as treatment meted out to the other gender is seen in a violent way.”

Development Research and Advocacy Centre (DRAC) is a health-centered and human rights advocacy-based not-for-profit organization with the mandate of protecting the fundamental human rights of our constituents. It envisions a society where there will be gender equity, unity in families, peace, and love as both genders are treated with equity and fairness.

Patrick Anamoo, the Monitoring Evaluation Accountability and Learning (MEAL) officer for DRAC, speaking with A1 Radio’s Mark Smith in connection with the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, explained that “NGOs need to actively support and participate at various levels to really address the danger women and children encounter.”

To this end, DRAC has support packages for survivors of gender-based violence.

“Our support is measured in our services; we give guidance and counseling to survivors and other social and economic empowerment training and start-up support. This can be accessed by visiting our website to contact us.”

As part of activities to reduce the instances of gender-based violence in the Upper East Region, DRAC, as the regional host of NGOs in health in the Upper East Region, annually engages in radio sensitization and decentralizing communication through community durbars and engagements. Additionally, DRAC, through advocacy, influences community, regional, and national policies that help tackle gender-based violence.

“DRAC annually partners with radio stations in the region and other key partners to organize radio discussions on the basics of GBV. DRAC also reaches out to our community members with the support of GHS through their community health structures to educate community members on GBV and Intimate partner violence. DRAC supports policy formulation and position papers on issues regarding GBV and IPV; recently, DRAC supported the position of NGOs led by UNFPA on the taxation of sanitary products and the call to end GBV and the passage of the affirmative action bill in Ghana.”

Mr. Anamoo added that beyond the efforts of NGOs and advocacy platforms, community leadership must be committed to ending violence.

“We are ensuring the community system structures, the assembly members and their unit committees, the traditional authorities (chiefs, queen mothers, tindaanas,) the faith-based leaders, and other opinion leaders together with the community health volunteers, our project volunteers, the peer educators, and paralegal teams support our community-level mobilization and activities.”

The global 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is a key international moment to call for an end to violence against women and girls. It runs from 25th November (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) until 10th December, Human Rights Day. The theme for this year is “Invest to Prevent Violence against Women & Girls.”

Source: A1Radioonline.Com|101.1MHZ|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Bolgatanga

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