He advised children and young people to report people who perpetrated any act of abuse against them to their colleagues, parents, teachers, or the elderly to help curb the canker.
“If you are a schoolgirl, your class teacher is touching your breast or your buttocks; if you are a boy, your madam invites you to her office and asks you to remove her button or zip, speak it out, tell the schoolteacher, tell the head teacher, tell the proprietor and that is how we can stop it,” he explained.
Mr. Kanton said this in Wa at the weekend during a panel discussion on the topic: “Unite Against Gender-Based Violence: Leave No Woman or Girl Behind” to climax the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
The event, organized by the Children and Youth in Broadcasting (CYIB)-Curious Minds, was also to launch the Wa chapter club of the CYIB-Curious Minds on the theme: “Harnessing and Catalyzing the Potentials of Young People for National Growth.”
The event was characterized by poetry and drama performances that spoke against GBV in all forms geared towards fighting the menace.
School children, stakeholders including representatives of the Department of Gender, Department of Children, and Department of Social Welfare, and youth groups among others attended the event.
“We are all part of it. Children can help address Gender-based Violence, the adults can do it, but the beginning point is, let’s talk about it. When we don’t talk about it, we can’t find a solution to it”, Mr. Kanton explained.
Chief Inspector Madam Stella Niabi, the Station Officer of the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU), Upper West Region, indicated that men also suffer from GBV but were unwilling to report or speak about it due to the fear of social ridicule.
“Most men go through so much emotional and psychological abuse. The men are very quiet and are dying within. Some women take men through torture, “she said.
Madam Niabi noted that most men endure the abuses they suffered due to their ego and cited two reported cases of GBV against men, where in one incident a woman was sexually abusing the man, stressing the need for men to also speak out about abuses against them.
She also advised the children to defend and protect their bodily rights saying, “Each of you should be assertive when it comes to your body”.
Mr. David Aburabura, the Deputy National Coordinator of CYIB-Curious Minds, noted that the organization had chalked successes in producing resourceful personalities who were actively contributing to development both at the national and international levels.
He explained that the ability of the group to expand and engage more young people and children across the country would help curb the issue of young people engaging in social vices.
“We want to get more young people to join us in our advocacy to make sure that children’s rights are recognized and children are thrilled up to be able to demand their rights responsibly”, he explained.
Alhaji Dasaana Adamu, the Proprietor of Bomandi Preparatory School, who chaired the occasion, advised the young people and children to be confident in expressing their views and advocating their interests responsibly.
Mr. Adamu, who was also a former Wa West District Chief Executive, called on parents to take the welfare of their children seriously to ensure they developed into responsible adults.