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Gender Ministry engages Judges in three regions of the north on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence


imageConcerned about dismal figures and low prosecution rates of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) is now counting on the judiciary and state prosecutors to help address the problem in the country.

The ministry is hoping that with the engagement of the judges and state prosecutors, a remedy can be found for the problem.

Collaborating with Danish Development Assistance to Ghana (DANIDA), the ministry will engage the judiciary from Northern, Upper East and Regions in a dialogue to find out possible solutions to the growing Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in the country.

The dialogue is aimed at ascertaining impediments in acquiring justice for SGBV victims and identify barriers in justice and legal systems that negatively impact on SGBV victims’ ability to achieve justice.

It will also help increase the gender-sensitivity of officials in the justice system who process gender-based violence cases, identify critically analysis of issues that accounts for the low conviction rates and make recommendations to strengthen the justice system.

The ministry is seeking experience and knowledge from judges of the various family tribunals, circuit and SGBV courts, the high court, senior state prosecutors and investigators from the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service as well as officers from the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).

The two days dialogue with the judiciary is focusing on Ghana experience on SGBV, precancerous rates and implication of SGBV in Ghana, experiences from the courts in fast tracking SGBV and practicals strategies among others.

Out of 5, 749 reported cases of SGBV in 2015, only a little over a thousand representing almost 70 percent of the cases according to police records are still under investigations.

One hundred twenty-nine of the cases end up in the courts and only 4.4 % have been prosecuted. This, the deputy minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Mrs. Dela Sowah observed, is very discouraging.

The conviction rate of SGBV cases, Mrs Sowah said, was also very low, hence the need to engage judges and prosecutors. The deputy minister who is also member of parliament for Kpando constituency in the Volta region in an interaction with journalists in Tamale, encouraged the media to continue exposing SGBV because many people still don’t know it is a crime.

She also attributed increasing number of cases to the availability of pornographic materials on some television stations.

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