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United Nations calls for concerted efforts to ensure that protection systems are well designed to prevent gender-based violence in Ghana

Accra, March 8, 2013 - As we commemorate International Women’s Day (IWD), let us look back on a year of shocking crimes of violence against women and girls at both global and national levels and ask ourselves how to usher in a better future.

Globally, one young woman was gang-raped to death. Another committed suicide out of a sense of shame that should have been attached to the perpetrators. Statistics reveal that Ghana has one of the highest rate of violence against children in the world. About 25% of women aged 15-49 reports that their first sexual intercourse was forced and against their will and happened when they were less than 15 years of age.

These offenses are everyday occurrences and yet many more go unreported. Look around at the women you are with, think of those you cherish in your families and your communities, and understand that there is a statistical likelihood that many of them have suffered violence in their lifetime. Even more have comforted a sister, an aunt or friend, sharing their grief and anger following an attack.

This year on IWD, we convert our outrage into action. While congratulating the Government of Ghana for re-aligning the women’s ministry to reflect the importance of social development, we encourage government to ensure that the protection systems are well designed to prevent gender-based violence and include legal provisions to meet the Ghanaian context of culture.

We are committed to continuous partnership with government and the people of Ghana to develop, adopt and fully implement laws and other measures, as appropriate, such as policies and educational programmes, to eradicate harmful traditional or customary practices, including female genital mutilations, child and forced marriage, which are violations of the human rights of women and girls.

To this end, the United Nations system is advancing ‘UNiTE to End Violence against Women’ a campaign based on the simple but powerful premise that all women and girls have a fundamental human right to live free of violence.

Let us all come together to keep our women and girls safe and free from violence or the threat of violence. This is our chance to have a positive impact on the lives of millions. We cannot afford to miss this opportunity.


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