Africa-Press – Ghana. Chief Inspector Stella Niabi, the Station Officer of the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) at the Upper West Regional Command of the Ghana Police Service, has advised the general public to stop covering up issues of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) so as to make the society a better place to live in.
She said the lives of many people and the sanity of society was at risk when perpetrators of crime are concealed.
Chief Inspector Niabi made this call at the sidelines of a Girls Meetup, a quarterly meeting of young girls, facilitated by Community Aid for Rural Development (CARD Ghana) as part of its She Leads campaign over the weekend in Wa, Upper West Region.
She advised the public against the “Tigyaabunyeni” mantra which literary means “we are all one” and usually comes up among the people of the Upper West Region when crimes are at stake, to ask for pardon for perpetrators.
She encouraged the people to take after the example of the famous “Anaata vs the Republic” case in which some members of the community actively took up and followed the matter to its conclusion.
Meanwhile, Chief Inspector Niabi said there have been series of reports by the public following the “Anaata vs the Republic” case which she said, was commendable.
She, therefore, encouraged the public to continue to report any such cases to the police for investigations and redress.
Giving a message of solidarity at the commencement of the 16 Days of Activism, Chief Inspector Niabi said the advocacy for women’s rights was not a competition of the sexes, between men and women, but a call for equal opportunities for women and girls to function well in society.
She said men should not see women as competitors but partners in complementing each other’s roles to make society a much better place.
Meanwhile, the Girls Meetup, according to the She Leads Project Coordinator and Acting Executive Director of CARD Ghana, Ms. Ernestina Biney, was to sensitize the young girls to sexual harassment and to help them to develop confidence and assertiveness in dealing with issues of harassment.
One of the girls who participated in the session, Rahima Yahaya said: “And what I learnt again is to stay away from men and boys just for me to get a better future. I want to become a journalist, so if I don’t stay away from boys and bad friends now, I wouldn’t be getting to achieve my dreams and future.
“I will tell them [friends] to stay away from men and bad friends and the bad advice that they’ve been giving to them. Some people always sleep with men because of 10 pesewas chewing gum and some of them, 2 cedis, so I would like to advise them to stay from the men and bad friends.”
The She Leads campaign, aimed at increasing sustained influence of girls and young women on decision-making and the transformation of gender norms, is implemented in the Upper West Region by the CARD Ghana with support from Plan International Ghana.