The Second Lady of the Republic, Samira Bawumia, with support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Ghana, has launched the “Coalition of People against Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) and Harmful Practices” (CoPASH).
The coalition will spearhead a national response on the issues of SGBV/HPs including case management and increasing prevention efforts in Ghana. The mandate of CoPASH is to bring together a group of agencies, organizations and individuals, who are passionate about the rights of women and girls, to advocate better resources for SGBV survivors throughout the nation.
Speaking at the launch of the coalition, Madam Samira indicated that a lot had been done to address the menace. However, she noted that the interventions had been in different directions which did not suffice to bring efficient results.
She said the coalition would therefore bring together people with strong interests in the issues of SGBV in order to learn and harmonize to create a more concerted approach to achieve efficient results.
“The ball has been rolling but a lot of them have also been rolling in different directions. So then we think let’s bring everybody together; let’s have a concerted approach. Let’s involve people; let’s know what people’s interests are . . .”
She noted that the commitment of government appointees and functionaries to the cause of addressing issues of SGBV was the starting point. However, she bemoaned the poor implementation of the laws concerning SGBV in the country.
“We have the regulations but they are not being implemented. It is how we implement them and make them function effectively . . .” she said.
“Those in charge have to make sure that what is supposed to happen happens and we have to make sure that we provide the amenities they need in order to function properly . . .” she added.
The second lady indicated that the coalition was going to undertake a series of projects including rolling out a database management system to keep information of victims such that accessing information would be much easier . . . whiles ensuring confidentiality.
Chief Superintendent Owusuwaa Kyereneh, National Coordinator of DOVVSU in a presentation on “The One Stop Centre, a Must Have” indicated that the one-stop centre would bring all relevant service providers under one roof such that when a victim walks in, all their needs would be met on the premises.
She noted that the DOVVSU one-stop centre has been under construction for the past 10 years and therefore called on the government and other stakeholders to ensure an immediate and successful completion of the building to enhance their work.
Madam Kyeremeh noted that the building when completed would have facilities such as a temporal shelter, private interview rooms, conference centre, adult cells, juvenile cells, court, children play area, cafeteria, among others, which would help prevent re-victimization and ensure efficient service delivery, guaranteed privacy, free medical and counselling services.
She charged the second lady to use her influence to help raise funds for the successful completion of the centre which started almost a decade ago.