Some selected Gender Desk Officers, (GDO’s) and market women in the Western Region have been trained on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) of girls and women, in particular, to effectively advocate and ensure a more effective approach to responding to such issues in the communities and market places.
Participants drawn from four Districts such as Nzema East, Wassa Amenfi East, Wassa East and Ahanta West, were taken through lessons in sexual violence against women and girls as well as reproductive health rights and understanding gender-based violence among others.
Mr Frederick Agyemang, Chief Director of the Western Regional Coordinating Council (WRCC) and also implementing partners in his address underscored the need to deploy the best mechanism to tackle such issues in the communities.
He charged the Gender Desk Officers (GDOs) to ensure that gender issues were inculcated into policies, plans and programmes across all the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and also provide technical backstopping to the market leaders.
He said though the training had been extended to market leaders and other Districts it could not call only four GDOs knowing well that issues on child marriage, teenage pregnancy and other discriminatory tendencies usually against girls or females were widespread in all the communities.
Mr Agyemang noted that sexual and reproductive health and rights were critical for empowering women and girls and advancing gender equality, both to realize their rights and their access to health services.
He, therefore, called for commitments of all and sundry to promote healthy societal living.
Mr Mutaru Goro Iddrisu, Programme Analyst (Population and Development) of UNFPA, implementers of the project indicated that advocacy, sensitization and capacity building had become cardinal over the period of implementation in the Region to ensure a more impactful project.
He announced that the ultimate goal of the project was to reach a zero-tolerance of Gender-Based Violence in communities whilst promoting access to family planning services.
Mr Iddrisu mentioned that the project which spans four years was designed to raise the consciousness of abuses and discriminatory practices and the need to rally support from the members of the society to end such activities.
Madam Maribel Okine, Western Regional Director of Gender on her part said the overall objective of the project was to train fourteen (14) GDOs and twenty (20) market leaders to strengthen local capacities to advance gender equality and to prevent and respond to SGBV and other related issues.