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GSS reports that 2 out of every 5 women aged 15 to 49 have experienced intimate relationship abuse

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“Further, one in every ten (12.2%) women in this age group reported experiencing physical violence often or sometimes in the 12 months preceding the survey, and 6.8 percent experienced physical violence while pregnant. Central Region (44.6%) had the highest percentage of women who had experienced physical violence since age 15 followed by the Savannah (42.9%) and Volta (40.2%) regions. The lowest rates of physical violence were recorded in Upper West (23.7%) and North East (23.7%) regions.” “About three in every five (63.2%) women who have experienced physical violence, reported the violence was committed by current (33.2%) or former (29.9%) husbands or intimate partners, the leading perpetrators of violence against women. Fathers (11.9%), mothers (11.9%), and siblings (10.4%) were the next highest categories of persons committing physical violence. Women also reported physical violence from non-relatives including teachers (4.9%), schoolmates (4.6%), employers or work colleagues (1.0%), and other persons (6.1%),” it said.

According to preliminary findings from the upcoming 2022 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (GDHS), two out of every five (41.6%) women aged 15 to 49 who have ever had an intimate partner have experienced at least one form of intimate partner violence (IPV), according to the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS).

This violence can be emotional, physical, or sexual.

The GSS said this in early figures on violence against women issued on Friday, November 24, 2023.

According to the service, 35.2 per cent of these women had witnessed emotional abuse at least once, 22.7 per cent had witnessed physical violence at least once, and 11.2 per cent had witnessed sexual assault at least once.

“More than half (53.4%) in the Savannah Region had experienced IPV, the highest recorded, followed by the Central (44.0%), Ahafo (44.0%), and Volta (43.6%) regions. The lowest rate of IPV was recorded in the Bono Region (26.3%). More than two in every five with primary education (44.1%) or no education (42.9%) had experienced IPV, almost twice that of women with more than secondary education (23.0%). IPV experience varies by employment status as well.”

“Women employed for cash reported the highest frequency of IPV (39.5%), about 10 percentage points higher than women employed but not for cash (28.9%) or not employed at all (29.1%). The most frequent form of sexual violence was being forced to have sexual intercourse (8.2%), for physical violence being slapped (11.6%) was most frequently experienced, and for emotional violence, it was being insulted or made to feel bad about herself (27.1%),” the GSS further stated.

It also said that one out of every three (33.2%) women aged 15 to 49 years in Ghana had suffered physical assault since the age of 15.

“Further, one in every ten (12.2%) women in this age group reported experiencing physical violence often or sometimes in the 12 months preceding the survey, and 6.8 per cent experienced physical violence while pregnant. Central Region (44.6%) had the highest percentage of women who had experienced physical violence since age 15 followed by the Savannah (42.9%) and Volta (40.2%) regions. The lowest rates of physical violence were recorded in Upper West (23.7%) and North East (23.7%) regions.”

“About three in every five (63.2%) women who have experienced physical violence, reported the violence was committed by current (33.2%) or former (29.9%) husbands or intimate partners, the leading perpetrators of violence against women. Fathers (11.9%), mothers (11.9%), and siblings (10.4%) were the next highest categories of persons committing physical violence. Women also reported physical violence from non-relatives including teachers (4.9%), schoolmates (4.6%), employers or work colleagues (1.0%), and other persons (6.1%),” it said.

According to the GSS, 14.1% of women aged 15 to 49 have experienced sexual violence.

“One in five women in the Volta (22.3%), Central (19.6%) and Savannah (19.6%) regions reported ever experiencing sexual violence, the highest recorded. Progress toward eliminating violence against women has been slow in the past decade.”

“Between 2008 and 2022, the experience of physical violence since age 15 declined from 36.6 to 33.2 per cent, experience of sexual violence declined from 18.8 to 14.4 per cent, and physical violence against pregnant women increased from 5.2 per cent to 6.8 per cent,” it stated.

This comes ahead of the annual International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25th.

The purpose of the day is to raise awareness and advocate for the prevention and abolition of violence against women and girls across the world.

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Sam George urges on Akufo-Addo to sign the anti-LGBTQI+ bill into law

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He thanked his colleagues, notably Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, a former Majority Leader, for their dedication to passing the measure. "We want to thank Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who played a pivotal role in passing this bill," the member of the parliament said to the media. Mr George also emphasised MPs' unity throughout the process, saying, "The overwhelming majority from both sides of the aisle have endorsed this bill." He assured that members of Parliament will work with the media to promote widespread public education on the law. The Bill's goal is to protect human sexual rights and Ghanaian Family Values, which prohibit homosexual, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) behaviours.

Samuel Nartey George, a key sponsor of the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill, 2021, has encouraged President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to sign the Bill after it passed through Parliament on Wednesday, February 28.

“We want the President to walk his talk by appending his signature to the bill to enable it to come into force,” he told reporters.

Addressing the Parliamentary Press Corps following the Bill’s approval, the National Democratic Congress Member of Parliament (MP) for Ningo-Prampram stated that the Bill received widespread support among MPs.

He thanked his colleagues, notably Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, a former Majority Leader, for their dedication to passing the measure.

“We want to thank Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who played a pivotal role in passing this bill,” the member of the parliament said to the media.

Mr George also emphasised MPs’ unity throughout the process, saying, “The overwhelming majority from both sides of the aisle have endorsed this bill.”

He assured that members of Parliament will work with the media to promote widespread public education on the law.

The Bill’s goal is to protect human sexual rights and Ghanaian Family Values, which prohibit homosexual, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) behaviours.

The Bill now prohibits lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activities and criminalises their promotion, advocacy, and financing.

Persons caught in these actions would face a six-month to three-year prison sentence, with promoters and sponsors facing three to five years in prison.

The Bill would now require presidential approval to go into effect.

Uganda passed one of the world’s most stringent anti-LGBT laws in May 2023, including the death sentence for “aggravated homosexuality.”
Activists said it triggered a wave of abuse, and the World Bank froze fresh support for the government.

In 2021, the United Nations stated that the planned law would establish “a system of state-sponsored discrimination and violence” against sexual minorities.

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Ghana Water to shut down Barekese and Achiase stations

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It will take place on three Thursdays: February 29, March 7, and March 14. According to a statement from the water supplier, the exercise would have an impact on manufacturing hubs. As a result, the majority of homes in the Greater Kumasi Metropolis should expect intermittent water delivery. "Management regrets the inconvenience the challenge may cause and advises customers to store and judiciously use water to avert any severe impact during the shutdown dates," the company said in a statement.

The Ghana Water Limited has announced the closure of the Barekese and Achiase water stations in the Ashanti region.

The change is due to planned maintenance by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) at the supply stations.

The maintenance work is planned to last for approximately 12 hours.

It will take place on three Thursdays: February 29, March 7, and March 14.

According to a statement from the water supplier, the exercise would have an impact on manufacturing hubs.

As a result, the majority of homes in the Greater Kumasi Metropolis should expect intermittent water delivery.

“Management regrets the inconvenience the challenge may cause and advises customers to store and judiciously use water to avert any severe impact during the shutdown dates,” the company said in a statement.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GmSz3JORNF6l-GzqADB5TDAfdhV2b6ra/view

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CSO coalition threatens Supreme Court action over anti-LGBTQ+ legislation

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Anyone found guilty of identifying as LGBTQ+ faces up to three years in jail. It also mandates a possible five-year prison sentence for founding or financing LGBTQ+ organisations. MPs opposed efforts to replace jail terms with community service and therapy. Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, the Board Chair of the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development CDD-Ghana, told JoyNews that the groups will make presentations to President Akufo-Addo, urging him not to sign the anti-LGBTQ+ law. She expressed regret that, despite all of Ghana's prospects when the measure was offered, Parliament saw no compelling reason to rule that such a statute did not fit within the country's democratic system.

A coalition of 18 civil society organisations has vowed to file a Supreme Court petition if President Nana Akufo-Addo signs the Proper Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill, 2021.

The organisation has lobbied against the anti-LGBTI+ law, claiming that it violates Ghana’s unique cultural and religious environment.

Parliament overwhelmingly enacted the anti-LGBTQ+ measure on February 28, following nearly three years of discussion. The measure intends to criminalise the LGBTQ+ community’s activities.

Anyone found guilty of identifying as LGBTQ+ faces up to three years in jail. It also mandates a possible five-year prison sentence for founding or financing LGBTQ+ organisations.

MPs opposed efforts to replace jail terms with community service and therapy.

Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, the Board Chair of the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development CDD-Ghana, told JoyNews that the groups will make presentations to President Akufo-Addo, urging him not to sign the anti-LGBTQ+ law.

She expressed regret that, despite all of Ghana’s prospects when the measure was offered, Parliament saw no compelling reason to rule that such a statute did not fit within the country’s democratic system.

“This bill is awful. It’s similar to criminal libel, which the colonists instituted and we kept. And it was used inappropriately against people, including journalists. “We’ll discover that this is similar,” she remarked.
Prof. Gadzekpo believed that an administration with great judgment would take power and repeal the measure.

Commenting on the coalition’s future steps now that Parliament has passed the bill, Prof Gadzekpo stated that the organisation would continue to advocate and explain why the anti-LGBTQ+ bill is destructive to the country’s democracy and prosperity.

She was hopeful that President Akufo-Addo would hear their cause.

“So we will make representation to the president, not to assent to the bill. I personally believe that this bill’s proposal through enactment – even the argumentation has very little to do with wanting to safeguard Ghanaian family values because the present danger that endangers our family values were never addressed in this bill.

“This bill was just narrowly targeted at minorities because they know that a majority of people don’t agree with a sexuality that is not binary.

“But the fact that a majority of people don’t agree with a minority position doesn’t make the majority right. It’s such a fundamental principle of democracy. That is why there are so many provisions in democratic constitutions that protect minorities and minority views and rights, but unfortunately, it fell on deaf ears,” she stressed.

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