Available statistics show that a total of 1,296 girls in the country were defiled, while 335 other women were raped in 2014 alone, according to the Police Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU).
Mrs. Christiana Ankamah, Ashanti Regional Director of the Gender, Children and Social Protection Ministry, who revealed the startling figures, said 17,778 gender-related abuses were recorded and studies had also established that a significant proportion of Ghanaian women – about 27% have in their life time suffered sex abuse.
She described the situation as unhealthy and completely unacceptable and rallied all to work together to fight it.
She was contributing to discussions at a forum held by the Ministry with support from the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) in Kumasi to find ways of giving more protection to women and children.
“Men as change agents in ending gender-based violence in Ghana” was the theme, and in attendance were chiefs, faith-based groups and driver associations.
Mrs. Ankamah noted that male chauvinism has been a major factor fueling gender-based violence and invited religious, traditional and opinion leaders to take lead role in helping to overcome this. People must be assisted to change their violent behaviors and deep-seated cultural norms that tend to discriminate and condone violence against women.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Benjamin Dokurugu, the Regional Commander of DOVVSU, urged victims of abuse to be bold and report their cases to the police.
He urged the scrapping of outdated cultural practices like widowhood rites and child marriages.
Mr Samuel Kyei-Berko, the Programmes Manager for Ark Foundation – Ghana, an NGO, advised the people to learn to control their anger.