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The Network for Young Women Empowerment (NYWE) in the Upper West region has called on stakeholders especially chiefs and traditional authorities to make the fight against gender-based violence a topmost priority in their dealings.

The Network made this appeal during a sensitization workshop organized in Wa as part of activities to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (IDEVAW). The NYWE with support from Plan International Ghana and the National Youth Authority also organized a float through the principal streets of Wa, as part of a 16-day long celebration of the IDEVAW, to create awareness on the need to see the elimination of gender-based violence as a collective responsibility.

Chairperson for the NYWE, Ida Nakaar in her address said gender-based violence should be seen as a societal and human right problem rather than a family problem. She indicated that, “one in every three young women experiences gender-based violence”, noting that young women need to be free to surf the internet and to go about their activities without fear. “We need all hands on deck to address this social canker”, she pleaded.

The workshop which was organized under the theme, “Orange the World; Freedom to be Online”, saw in attendance various stakeholders including traditional rulers, officers from the Department of Children, the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unity (DOVVSU), and the Ministry of Gender.

Meanwhile, Eric Ayaba of Plan International Ghana expressed delight in supporting the fight to eliminate violence and discrimination against women. He added that, Plan International as part of its mandate is to support the vulnerable in society especially young girls and women.

Mr. Ayaba also added his voice to the call on traditional rulers to collaborate and reduce household chores on young girls as that affects the development of young girls. He pledged Plan International (Ghana) support for programs geared towards the development of young girls and women.

On his part, ASP Adongo Apiiya said DOVVSU has so far recorded ten cases of defilement in 2020, which is a reduction from the 19 cases recorded in 2019. He stressed that anyone found guilty of defilement could go for seven years in prison. He further indicated a reduction in forced marriages and child slavery in the Upper West Region.

ASP Apiiya appealed to the traditional leaders to formulate bye-laws to curb streetism and child slavery, indicating that such laws will be gladly enforced by the Ghana police service to ensure parents become more responsible for their children.