Gender Advisor at Oxfam Ghana, Thelma Hayford, is advocating for a change within the strategy to tackling points associated to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence.
According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), roughly 94% of kids between the ages of 1 and fourteen in Ghana have skilled one type of gender-based violence, whereas over 48% of Ghanaian girls and ladies have been sexually abused.
Speaking on the sidelines of the continued “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence” being spearheaded by the United Nations, Thelma Hayford highlighted the necessity for the inclusion of boys and males within the marketing campaign.
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She defined that activism on such points over time has solely targeted on girls and ladies, neglecting the various types of abuse that males or boys additionally encounter.
“Let’s flip the script; we know that women and girls are the victims of SGBV, per the reports we receive, but also men experience this too. Over the years, we’ve seen an increase in sodomy and abuse of our boy child.”
“So let’s change the narrative and engage men as well to disabuse their minds of all the cultural norms and social norms that tend to enforce abusing their partners, wives, or sisters. We need to let them know that the laws work and the perpetrators have to stop. We need to bring more men on board to help us create this awareness,” she said.
The United Nations, since 2008, yearly embarks on the UNITE marketing campaign, which runs parallel to the 16 Days of Activism towards Gender-Based Violence from twenty fifth November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) till tenth December, Human Rights Day.
The 12 months’s theme is dubbed “Invest to prevent violence against women and girls,” forming a part of efforts to finish violence towards girls by the 12 months 2030.
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Touching on the openness of ladies in sharing their experiences and encounters of SGBV, she revealed that though the degrees of reporting are enhancing, “the constraints still exist because of the fear of backlash, the lack of safe spaces for women and girls to voice their experiences.”
Thelma Hayford additional tasked the federal government to prioritize gender-related issues by way of its budgetary allocations.
“The way we see it is how the government of the day is ready to rally for the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection, among others, and also the allocation of budgets, and that’s how we see the heart of the government,” she added.