Forum in Tamale mobilizes youth to combat Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

Forum in Tamale mobilizes youth to combat Sexual and Gender-Based Violence:Ghana News
Hajia Sagito-Saeed addressing the event 

A day-long engagement forum aimed at rallying the support of youth groups and stakeholders in the to combat Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) was recently held in .

Organized by the Women Integrated Development Agency (SWIDA-GH) under its KASA project, in collaboration with the Media and Communication Studies Department of the Tamale Technical University (TaTU), the event carried the theme “Leveraging on the Energy of Young Advocates to End Sexual Violence in Ghana.”

Hajia Alima Sagito-Saeed, the Executive Director of SWIDA-GH, emphasized the project's goal of empowering young women to advocate for their rights. Trained female leaders and male champions equipped with knowledge on SGBV were designated to serve as advocates within their communities. The forum provided a platform for these advocates to share experiences, challenges, and expertise with other youth, fostering a comprehensive approach to address sexual violence.

“We have trained them with information as to how to report cases of abuse, the referral processes so that they can become the pillars and sources of direction for justice for other vulnerable groups in their communities,” said Hajia Alima Sagito-Saeed, calling for a holistic approach from all stakeholders.

Participants included representatives from selected Senior High Schools, young female leaders, women commissioners from tertiary institutions, male champions, and other stakeholders in the women and girls' empowerment space. The event was supported by partners such as the Centre for Equity and Equal Opportunities, African Women's Development Fund, Ford Foundation, and Open Society Initiative for Africa (OSIWA).

Madam Bushira Alhassan, the Acting Northern Regional Director of the Department of Gender, emphasized the power of peer-to-peer education and community sensitization in combating SGBV. Madam Eugenia Baffour Bankoh, a Violence Prevention and Child Safety Strategist, highlighted the need for creating a supportive environment for survivors to share their experiences for effective psychosocial support.

Professor Adiza Sadik, the Dean of International Programmes and Institutional Linkages at TaTU, stressed the importance of advocacy and sensitization to break down cultural barriers hindering the fight against SGBV.

Sulemana Zakaria, a male champion under the project, shared his effective advocacy campaign centered on arts and films, emphasizing their role in creating awareness about SGBV.

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