Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Domestic Violence Victims Support Fund Planned

Domestic Violence Victims Support Fund Planned
The Ghanaian Times, Tuesday, March 9, 2010; Page 3
Christabel Akoto-Manu & Suzy Ansah

Government is to set-up a fund supporting victims and survivors of domestic violence, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs (MOWAC), Hawawu Boya Gariba, has said. The government, she said, would provide the seed money for the fund whilst the country’s development partners provide material resources. Hajia Gariba made this known yesterday at a ceremony organized by members of the Ghana Federation of the Disabled (GFD) to mark the International Women’s Day held under the theme “Equal Right, equal opportunity, progress for all, women with disability inclusive.” She said, “As a step in implementing the Domestic Violence Act, the secretariat that will co-ordinate the implementation of the Domestic Violence Plan of Action has been equipped through the support of the Royal Netherlands Government.”

The Deputy Minister said through collaboration effort of the MOWAC, the Domestic Violence Coalition and Civil Society groups, the Domestic Violence Act was being operationalised. The law, according to her, would protect mothers and their children, and particularly women and girls with disabilities since they were likely to be abused because of their condition.

The Deputy Minister, Hajia Gariba, said the Day was set aside to look at challenges facing women world-wide, celebrate their achievements, and look ahead to the exciting opportunities that awaited women in the future. She described the theme for the day as “appropriate” as it reflected the core mandate and value of the Ministry which included initiating and formulating policies and promoting gender mainstreaming across all sectors that would result in the achievement of gender equality and empowerment of women.

She said it was worth noting that this year’s celebration coincided with the 15th anniversary celebration of implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA) which was adopted by consensus on September 15, 1995. Its adaptation was statement of political commitment by participating government to advance the goals of equality development and peace for all women and girls, the disabled women inclusive.

Hajia Gariba said the extent to which the well-being and future of the physically challenged women and girls could be guaranteed in the country would depend on the amount of investment made in achieving equal rights for them in the broader content of the universal declaration of the fundamental human rights for all as contained in the BDFA and other international and national instruments. “Physically challenged women and girls are the most vulnerable in the society they face challenges restating to their gender as women and discrimination celebrating to their disability” she mentioned.

Hajia Gariba stated that the contribution of GFD towards the protection and care of physically challenged in general and particularly women in the country was tremendous and had helped to keep the flame of the fight for equal rights and protection for the physically challenged burning all this year. Mr. Enock Teye Mensah, Minister of Employment and Social Welfare, said gender activism was something he always advocated. “Women are very powerful and important in our societies and nation at large but they have not been appreciated and recognized” he said, and commended the federation for bringing up such an initiative for women with disability on the International Women’s Day.

Mr. Mensah said the International Women’s Day was a major day of global celebration of love, respect, economic and political freedom for women and should be celebrated as such including those with disabilities. The President of the Ghana Association for the Blind (GAB), Cecilia Bartholomew, said they day was to enable women and girls with disability to draw the world’s attention to their plight and also to demonstrate their capabilities.

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