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16 Days of Activism WiLDAF march to end violence against women and girls

The 16 days is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world.

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Friday, November 25, marked the commencement of 16 days of activism against gender violence, which is a global campaign for nations to reflect on some practical ways to prevent and respond to ending violence against women and girls and ends on December 10.

The 16 days is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign that was initiated in 1991.

Related: Step up fight against gender based violence - WiLDAF to Gov't

The theme for this year’s campaign is From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Make Education Safe for All”.

As part of activities to mark this global campaign, Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF Ghana) with support from OXFAM in Ghana and Crossroads International commemorated the event with a street procession in Adeiso (West Akim District) to raise awareness on Gender Based Violence as a human rights issue as well as calling on all stakeholders to make education safe for the girl child.

Read more: WILDAF wants cease-fire on daily political insults

The March rendezvoused individuals and groups within the locality including the farmers’ and Hair Dressers Association, Persons with Disabilities, Representatives of various political parties, Legal Literacy Volunteers, NCCE, and community members.

Participants were visibly draped in orange shirts – (the color signifying a brighter future devoid of violence against women and girls) holding placards with inscriptions such as “Girls have rights respect them”, “Make Education for the Girl Child Safe”, “No Violence Against Women”, “Help Girls to stay in school”, “Domestic Violence is Criminal” as they jubilantly marched through the streets of Adeiso educating the public.

The over an hour and half parade ended where it had begun – Adeiso Presbyterian School compound.

See more: WiLDAF campaigns for an end to gender-based violence

Speaking to the crowd after the march, Ms. Patricia Isabella Essel, the Programmes Manager for Communications and Advocacy of WiLDAF Ghana, briefed the participants on the importance of the 16 days of activism.

She noted that 1 in every 3 women has been abused in her lifetime whilst 1 out of 5 has suffered psychological abuse. She also expressed the need for society to assimilate this year’s theme calling on the gathering to break the barriers hindering girl child education in Ghana.

“Parents please endeavor to enroll your girl child and ensure they do not drop out of school as is the case of many unfortunate young girls in Ghana. A woman is as equally as effective as her male counterpart when they both receive the same level of education”, she stated.

More here: Ghana's Domestic Violence Act to be passed in July

Gender-based violence with respect to the right to education is a consistent threat in public spaces, schools, and homes and is a detriment to the universal human right to education and it is our obligation to focus on the precarious situation of education for girls and boys, young women and men this year through the 16 Days Campaign

The Communications officer of Oxfam in Ghana, Naana Nkansah Agyeikum added that abuses meted out on women had a devastating effect throughout their lifetime and therefore challenged men to champion the fight against the discriminations and violence.

The platform was also used by the National Centre for Civic Education (NCCE) to educate the crowd on the election process for the upcoming polls on December 7, 2016. Mr. Adua Amankwah, the NCCE director for the district took the gathering through the right voting process before urging them to help ensure peace prevails during and after the election.

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