Every year, the world commemorates 16 Days of Activism: an annual and international campaign against gender-based violence. The campaign starts on the 25th day of November every year, which marks ‘International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and continues to 10th December which is ‘Human Rights Day’.
American Corner Agbogba in partnership with the US Embassy Ghana, commemorated the day with a panel discussion on the topic “Unite Against Gender-Based Violence: Leave No Woman or Girl Behind”. The panelists were in the persons of: Superintendent Sophia Ennim from the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) and Mr. Samuel Berko, the CEO of the Empowerment Institute. The moderator for the discussion was Florence Toffa, Director of Mobile Web Ghana. Also in attendance were: Jennifer Green, a representative of the Public Affairs section of the US Embassy Ghana, Chief Superintendent Owusuwaa Kyeremeh, Director of the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (Ghana Police Service), ACP Patience Quaye, Rita Awuku, Director of American Center at the US Embassy Ghana, Dr. Dzifa Attah, a clinical psychologist and lecturer at the University of Ghana, Annabelle Pwalia from Ark Foundation, Regina Asamoah, Editor at Atinka FM/TV and students from Newells Academy, Kwabenya Senior High School and Wisconsin International University College.
The program started with Florence giving a welcome address after which Princess Ndom, the Coordinator of American Corner Agbogba gave an introduction about the space to participants. Following was Jennifer, who gave an opening remark about the purpose of the program and announced the panel discussion. Rita introduced the panelists for the discussion where she gave an overview about their profiles.
Before the panel discussion, the panelists gave presentations about gender-based violence, the forms of gender-based violence, identifying gender-based violence and the need to report. Sophia gave a highlight of some cases she has dealt with at DOVVSU, illustrating examples to educate participants on the best approach to dealing with issues relating to any form of gender-based violence. Mr. Berko also shared with participants how he contributes to gender-based violence advocacy. He also encouraged participants to report if they ever encounter any form of sexual abuse or assault. He gave a list of some organizations who help victims of gender-based violence and shared some contacts they can reach if there ever should be a need.
After their presentation, the panel discussion was done which was moderated by Florence Toffa. The discussion highlighted women’s empowerment through education. It was an interesting discussion having the panelists who are well versed with knowledge, share and contribute to the discussion. At the end of the discussion, there was a Q & A, which gave participants the opportunity to ask questions. Others also shared experiences relating to gender-based violence which were either personal or from a relative or friend. The panelists, together with other invited guests working on gender issues shared wonderful answers, advice and gave counsel.
Chief Superintendent Owusuwaa Kyeremeh also gave a brief talk about how DOVVSU is doing its best in tackling cases on gender-based violence. She also shared some encouraging words to participants to empower them and also contribute to the advocacy against gender-based violence.
The closing remarks were done by ACP Quaye, Dr.Attah and Miss Pwalia.
The program ended with a group photo and a brief but worthwhile networking session.