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Source: allAfrica

A 16-day campaign to combat gender-based violence in Ghana has been launched with a call on all Ghanaians to pledge to end violence against vulnerable people, especially women and children.

This year's campaign, observed globally every year from November 25 to December 10, which is International Human Rights Day, is on the theme: "Leave no one behind: end violence against women and girls"

Activities marking the campaign include awareness creation activities through advocacy, generating public support to effectively prevent and address gender-based violence in education, health and on the job market, among others.

In an address to launch the campaign, Hon. Otiko Afisah Djaba, Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, condemned the atrocities meted out to individuals based on their gender, adding that gender-based violence in any form was a human rights violation.

She said statistics from the National Domestic Violence Unit (DOVVSU) of the Police Service indicated that from January to March 2016, 79 men were arrested for defilement while no woman was arrested for same, and 187 females defiled against 11 males within the same period.

The campaign, Hon. Djaba said, was, therefore, urging governments all over the world, development partners, civil society, traditional rulers, the media, individuals and the general public alike to help address the structural causes of inequality and marginalization that affected women and girls and the marginalized in general.

 She called on relevant authorities and stakeholders not to relent in their efforts to end sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls and pledged the commitment of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) to providing the resources, where necessary, to ensure that more awareness creation activities were carried out.

Furthermore, she said, the Ministry would intensify policy implementation.

Hon Djaba warned that perpetrators of rape and defilement would face the full rigours of the law and charged the media to be circumspect in their reportage on issues concerning gender-based violence.

She expressed the firm belief that the 16-day activism campaign against gender-based violence will continue to contribute to a world free from gender-based violence especially for women and girls, including other vulnerable groups such as the aged, persons living with disability and orphaned children.

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