Let’s Continue to Support Sexual & Gender-Based Violence Victims-UNFPA Country Representative
Report by: Ishmael Barfi
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Country Representative, Niyi Ojuolape has reiterated the need to continue supporting victims of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in our society.
According to him, there was the need to intensify counselling, assistance and support to women, girls, men and boys who report any form of sexual, gender-based violence in our community.
Mr. Niyi Ojuolape made the passionate call at the UNFPA sensitization and health screening outreach in one of the Muslim communities, Sabon Zongo, in Accra.
The Outreach program held on Saturday, 17th April, 2021 was to create awareness as well sensitize the Muslim community especially women and girls on the need to report any SGBV issues to the appropriate authorities for support and assistance.
In Ghana, women and girls are mostly victims of Sexual, Gender-Based violence and since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, there have been a rise in SGBV cases across the country hence the need for more sensitization programs in our communities.
Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) refers to any act that is perpetrated against a person’s will and is based on gender norms and unequal power relationships.
It includes physical, emotional or psychological and sexual violence, and denial of resources or access to services.
In an interview with the media at the outreach program, Mr. Niyi Ojuolape explained that, the aim of the program was to let the Muslim community, especially the women and girls, know there is an assistance and support system in place, the orange support center.
The UNFPA, he explained, has initiated a 100-day publicity plan targeted at reaching millions of people across country with information on SGBV and how best one can receive assistance and support, whilst perpetrators are dealt with by the relevant authorities.
The 100-day publicity plan he noted would consist of radio and television broadcasts, social media campaigns, and educative and informative community outreach and interaction where women and young girls would be given first-hand knowledge on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and its effects as well the need to immediately report for support and assistance.
Touching on the Orange Support Centre, he explained that, the Center prime aim is to provide holistic solutions to victims and to also work hand in hand with other relevant stakeholders such as the Ghana Police Service, Ministry of Gender and Children Affairs among others to reduce SGBV cases in the country.
He therefore urged victims of SGBV to patronize the services of the Orange Support Center of the UNFPA by accessing the toll-free number (0800111222).
The UNFPA, Mr. Niyi Ojuolape said, is always ready and willing to support the fight against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) as a way of restoring the dignity of women and girls in the country.
On his part, the spokesperson for the Greater Accra Zongo Chief, Issifu Illiasu expressed his profound gratitude to UNFPA and its stakeholders for the outreach program aimed at empowering the Muslim women and girls to speak up and fight for their basic rights.
He explained that, the program had come at the right time since many Muslim women and girls are suffering in silence and do not know where to report such abuses to for assistance and support.
“Choosing Sabon Zongo as one of the communities for such an outreach program is appropriate and timely since most of our women and girls are most often victims of SGBV”, he stressed.
He therefore urged the Muslim women and girls to be bold enough to report any Sexual and Gender-Based Violence by dialling the toll-free numbers provided and assured them of the Chief’s support.
Dignity kits comprising of a sanitary pad, soap, towel, toothbrush, a pack of blade and one underwear where given to the women and girls as well as the men and boys who participated in the outreach program.