Close this search box.

Increased rate of gender-based violence in communities worrying – Circuit Court Judge

A circuit court judge in Kumasi, Ms Gloria Mensah Bonsu, has expressed worry about the increasing rate of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in communities in the area.

She said GBV and related cases were frequent in the courts and called for urgent actions to prevent these acts in society.

Ms Mensah Bonsu was speaking at the opening of a two-day sensitisation training workshop on gender-based violence, sexual harassment and exploitation as well as abuse, in Kumasi.

It was organised by the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area Sanitation and Water Project (GKMA-SWP), as part of its environmental and social safeguards framework.

It was targeted at officers from environmental health, planning, police, prosecutors, social and community development officers selected from the project’s implementing areas, to be able to prevent, manage and address GBV and related issues.

The participants were also expected to learn and develop tools on GBV, sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment prevention and redress in genera
l, in relation to water, sanitation and hygiene violence prevention redress.

Ms Mensah Bonsu urged the public, especially parents of victims of gender-based violence, to present early evidence to the law enforcement agencies to ensure the prosecution of perpetrators.

The GKMA-SWP is a World Bank funded project being implemented in Ghana by the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources with the aim to increase access to improved sanitation and water supply in greater Kumasi, with a focus on provision to low-income communities and the strengthening of the management of environmental sanitation in the project area.

Specifically, investments are provided for construction of gender inclusive school sanitation facilities, on-site sanitation facilities for households, extension of water distribution facilities to low-income communities, and flood protection prevention and mitigation facilities.

Madam Charlotte Adjei Marfo, the Programme Manager, at the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, said unintended
consequences considered in the project design, included sexual harassment of women employees and early pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases (including HIV and AIDS) and child labour.

This was because of the influx of construction workers from the service providers into the project communities.

For this cause, the World Bank safeguards policy required the support of the receiving metropolitan and municipal assemblies to assist in mitigating the adverse impact.

She noted that the project implementation strategy provided a three-tier grievance redress mechanism at the community, district and regional levels.

These included acknowledging the complaints, investigating and determining solutions to the complaint, implementing the redress action, verifying the redress action, monitoring and evaluation.

She said GBV was a global pandemic that affected one in three women in their lifetime and 35 per cent had experienced either physical and or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence as
shown by a World Bank 2019 report.

Admitting that such violence had no social or economic boundaries and affected women and girls of all socio-economic backgrounds, Madam Marfo said the World Bank was committed to addressing the violence through its investment, research and learning, and collaboration with stakeholders.

She said it was expected that community-based multi-prong approaches and sustained engagement with multiple stakeholders would decrease such violence against women and girls.

Source: Ghana News Agency