The first time I heard of the fight against violence against women I was about 15 years old. Then the killing and butchering of women have become so rampant that women groups had to speak against it.
One of the groups I clearly remember is the Ark Foundation and I remember I wrote it’s executive director’s name somewhere behind my note book. I admired the passion with which she spoke against violence against women.
So many years down the line this issue of violence against women keeps surging. The number of women who are assaulted in various ways on a daily basis is outrageous.
Now the minor verbal and physical assaults have actually graduated to murders.
It’s amazing why a man can pour acid on a woman he claims to love because she threatened to leave him. It is preposterous to imagine a man chopping his partner into pieces because he found him with another man.
The reasons for which men hurt their partners, to us women have always been absurd. I am sure to the men it has always bothered on ego. “You have no idea how it feels to catch a woman you love with another man” some men will say.
For the many men out there who have been through such situations and chose to manage their anger and ego, SALUTE!!!!
The stories of women and girls being manhandled by their fellow men are just too much. Just the Other day a young Indian medical student was raped to death. Just last week a young woman was burnt by her boyfriend because she threatened to leave him. The woman Dora Dinyo died four days after the incident at the Korle Bu teaching hospital.
This was a woman who couldn’t take anymore of the quarrels and insults she was subjected to by her boyfriend for coming home late. On that fateful day of the incident she had told her boyfriend she will pack out of the Kiosk they resided the next morning, as the quarrels had become unbearable.
Disregarding the threats of the boyfriend who threatened to kill her if she left him she slept and that night about 2am she was torched after petrol was poured all over her. The guy whose name is given as Bismark died when his clothes caught fire in the process.
This is just one of the horrific stories of violence inflicted on women daily. Young girls on the other hand are constantly raped by their teachers, fathers, friend’s colleagues etc. Women have become sexual gratification for men who offer them jobs regardless of their qualification.
Friday March 8 2013 is International women’s Day under the theme A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women”. This year’s celebration is drawing attention once again on the urgent need to end violence against women.
According to Say No Unite, (a platform to end violence against women launched in 2009 by UN Women) 70 % of women experience sexual or physical violence from men in their lifetime. Majority of these men are either husbands, intimate partners or someone they know.
In Ghana, I feel gender advocates are doing their best but obviously their best doesn’t seem to be enough. Maybe the advocacy and education needs to be intensified. Governments should support by providing funding for this purpose.
Justice also needs to be expedited in dealing with cases of violence against women. The attitudes by state prosecutors and the police in handling some of these cases leave much to be desired.
The infamous Amina assault case for instance was later dismissed by the court for want of prosecution and the student’s set free even though the assault was captured on camera.
The outcome of the Benkum gang rape has still not been determined by the court after nine boys allegedly gang-raped a 17-year-old female student at Benkum Senior High School in the Eastern Region. Again these are just a few of the case which have seen no determination in the court of law.
I am hoping with this year’s theme the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection will impress on the Attorney Generals department to be more proactive in dealing with these matters.
Women on the other hand should be encouraged to report cases of abuse.
The Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit DOVVSU of the Ghana Police Service reports that, cases of Domestic Violent have increased. For me it doesn’t necessarily mean that the abuses have increased, it only means that awareness has increased and women have realized the need to report the acts so they can get help.
Starting today, let us all reach out to women and encourage them to know that it is not normal to stay in an abusive relationship. Let them know that if a man threatens to harm do not ignore the verbal threat! Seek help!
For the men this is the time to voice out what you feel. Talk about how you feel and let some of the anger go. Suppressing emotions and unleashing it on a woman in the form of abuse or murder is never the best.
ENDING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN IS A RESPONSIBILITY FOR ALL.
By: Betty Kankam-Boadu/citifmonline.com/Ghana