Mrs Freda Prempeh, Member of Parliament for Tano North, has appealed to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, to speed up processes on the drafting of the Legislative Instrument (L.I), to give realistic meaning to the Domestic Violence Act 732, of 2007.
She noted that the Act was one of the critical legislations passed by Parliament in the fight against women right abuses and violations, but because there was no L.I to support it, the Act remained insignificant.
Mrs Prempeh made the appeal in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Duayaw Nkwanta, during the commemoration of this year's International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls.
The Day, instituted by the United Nations, and which falls on November 25 every year, is to raise awareness, mobilize and call attention to the urgent need to end violence against women and girls.
This year’s celebration is on the theme: “Orange Your Neighbourhood–End Violence Against Women And Girls Now.”
Mrs Prempeh observed that the passage of the Domestic Violence Act brought a lot of respite to Ghanaians, particularly domestic violence victims.
She said, unfortunately, however, seven years after the passage of the Act, the LI supporting its provisions, are yet to be brought to Parliament for consideration.
Mrs Prempeh noted with regret that domestic violence was still high in the country, disclosing that available statistics from the Gender-based Violence Court in Accra, indicated that the court recorded 231 cases of domestic violence from January to June this year.
According to the MP, 70 per cent of the recorded cases were defilement, but due to the absence of an L.I to guide the issuing of medical forms among others, the prosecution process was facing several setbacks.
Mrs Prempeh pointed out that enacting anti-gender violence laws alone could not reduce violence against women and girls, but ought to be complemented with viable and vibrant social services systems and institutions.
“As a country, we need to strengthen our social services systems and social welfare institutions, such as the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, to cater for victims, and more importantly, educate the public on the repercussions of violence against women,” she explained.
Mrs Prempeh expressed concern about the recurrence of sexual harassment, rape and other forms of sexual violence in society, and appealed to the general public to support and help bring the situation under control.
She was worried about the rate at which women and girls in relationship are being slapped, pushed, kicked, choked, burnt, and forced to have sex by their partners.
“Women who are battered suffer from a variety of medical problems, from depression to chronic pain”, she said, pointing out that violence reduced women and girls’ freedom of movement and rights in accessing education, work, recreation, and essential services.
Violence restricts women participation in political life, and often limits their participation in national, regional and global advocacy and policy exchange fora, the MP concluded.
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