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SWIDA advocates strong parental bonds to safeguard children from violence & exploitation

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The Savannah Women Integrated Development Agency (SWIDA) is urging parents, particularly fathers, to invest time in building healthy relationships with their children, especially girls.

Ms. Khadijah Abdul-Samed, the Gender and Communication Officer at SWIDA, emphasized that confident children, particularly girls, often have strong relationships with their parents. Such relationships, she noted, contribute to preventing exploitation and abuse.

She added that when parents, especially fathers, engage closely with their daughters, it creates a protective environment that deters harmful individuals. 

“When we have these conversations, we call on parents. For us as an organisation, we believe it must start at home. If parents, especially fathers, get close to their daughters, it wards off bad people. It makes young girls very confident. Mark, I would challenge you to engage colleagues of yours, female friends who are very assertive and confident; chances are that they had strong father figures in their lives,” she said. 

Ms. Abdul-Samed shared these insights during a conversation with A1 Radio’s Mark Smith, discussing SWIDA’s initiatives for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.

The global campaign, running from November 25th to December 10th, aims to end violence against women and girls, with this year’s theme being “Invest to Prevent Violence against Women & Girls.”

Highlighting the importance of listening to young people, she encouraged parents and society to provide a safe space for them to express concerns, reducing the likelihood of abuse. Additionally, she called on men to exhibit positive masculinity and actively contribute to eliminating gender-based violence in Ghanaian society.

“Let’s listen. Let’s give them [young people] the space. Men, come out and exude positive musculinity. We need you in this space to fight against gender-based violence.”

Savannah Integrated Rural Development Aid (SIRDA) originated in 1995 as a youth-centered NGO formed by university graduates from the Nanumba Traditional area. Officially registered in 2005 as a non-profit, non-sectarian, and non-governmental organization (NGO), SIRDA initially focused on voluntary advocacy and awareness creation regarding education and women’s rights in the Nanumba North District of the Northern Region. With a primary emphasis on empowering women, the organization underwent a rebranding in 2017, changing its name to Savannah Women Integrated Development Agency (SWIDA) to underscore its commitment to women as catalysts for development change.

Meanwhile, the Development Research and Advocacy Centre (DRAC) is advocating for a government bill that economically empowers survivors of gender-based violence and clearly outlines the psychological support they will receive. DRAC emphasizes the need to address gender-based violence in Ghana, citing cultural systems and beliefs as barriers to effective solutions.

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

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