Climaxing its 16 days of activism against sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) on Thursday 10th December, 2020, in Accra, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in an exhibition expatiated on cases of violence where victims also shared their experiences.
The campaign spotlights the actions being taken to end this global scourge, which is one of the most pervasive human rights abuses in the world.
16 days of activism run from 25th November, which is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, through to 10th December, Human Rights Day.
In his Welcome address, Mr. Niyi Ojuolape, Country Representative of UNFPA Ghana, expressed his profound gratitude to the youth for participating in the campaign and for expressing their enthusiasm in fighting against SGBV.
He therefore explained that, SGBV is a silent pandemic that is raging within the country, however, It is time for everyone to rise and collectively put a stop to it.
According to Mr. Ojuolape, UNFPA partnered with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) and others partners to present a united front to combat this pandemic.
“We all have a role to play, so when you see a situation where someone is being affected by SGBV or a victim of SGBV, please report to the nearest authority so that his or her life can be saved,” he said.
To him, Since the beginning of the 16 days, that is November 25th, they had several activities to underscore the issues of sexual and gender base violence and the need for everyone to take action against sexual and gender base violence.
He also said, many people have come to accept the incidence of domestic violence and gender base violence as normal. So we have quite a number of victims and survivors of gender and base violence who even don’t report anymore, don’t consider the incidence as an issue anymore.
Mr. Ojuolape, added that, “There are others who also suffer in silence because the society doesn’t encourage reporting. So these are major issues that we have in our societies. So there is sort of comfort for those who are confronted by these issues like victims and survivors who also need support and help in different ways.”
On her part, the Deputy Country Representative, UNFPA, Dr. Agnes Ntibanyurwa, added that acceleration of actions to end sexual and gender base violence cannot be done by one single institution, it calls for partnership, as we are ending it in this youthful place with art designs very young and champions.
“It’s not men or women issue, it’s not girls or boys issue, of course majority of these victims are women and girls but boys are also affected and no single person should be violent. Human rights day is calling not into policies of super just, but asking to stop all forms of violence”.
To her, sexual and gender violence should not be a fight only for 16 days. Saying, “it should be 24hours in a day, it’s 365 days in a year, 7days a week, everyone must serve, my family, my colleagues, you and all the people we have share the same responsibility to say NO to sexual and gender base violence.”
The Chief Director of Ministry of Children and Social Protection, Dr. Afisah Zachariah, underscored the need to eradicate SGBV now more than ever.
According to her, many people, especially the youth, have been victims of this kind of abuse and thanked UNFPA and its partners for using arts as the new avenue to showcase the plight of victims of SGBV.