The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, through the Domestic Violence Secretariat, has held a national stakeholders consultation to solicit input to review the Domestic Violence Act, 2007 (732).
The one-day consultative meeting, among other things, aims at soliciting views from stakeholders for a workable law.
The Domestic Violence Act, 2007 (Act 732), is to particularly protect women and children from domestic violence and for connected purposes.
It provides for the setting up of a National Secretariat to be a coordinating unit and the development of a National Domestic Violence Policy and Plan of Action.
Some milestones are the establishment of the victims of Domestic Violence Fund and the setting up of the Domestic Violence Management Board among others.
Mrs Zuweira Lariba Abudu, Minster Designate, Gender Ministry, in a speech read on her behalf, noted that issues of domestic violence, the commonest gender-based violence and violence against women and girls, were considered private matters not to be discussed in the public domain in the past.
That, she said, had dire consequences on them, and their families’ health, finances, education, and development.
Mrs Abudu said, however, those issues could currently be discussed due to the extensive advocacy of some Non- Governmental Organisations, Civil Society Organisations, women groups and Government agencies.
She said domestic violence, manifesting in the form of physical, emotional, verbal, sexual and economic issues had roots deeply embedded in the Ghanaian cultural, religious practices and beliefs, denying victims, including men, their fundamental human rights and freedoms.
The Minister Designate said although the Domestic Violence Law was “very good” and had attained feats, the Ministry and its stakeholders found it necessary to inquire from implementers and enforcers of the law, how the nation had performed.
“You will agree with me that ten years in the life of a human being is a lot and many things happen. Equally, the domestic violence law has been enforced for over ten years and we think that it is time to review it to enable us to identify and celebrate the success stories, point out the gaps that exist and the challenges that have been encountered in its enforcement and implementation,’’ she said.
That, Mrs Abudu said, would enable stakeholders to come out with new trends of abuses in the current era of technology, global pandemics and emergencies.
She said: “The first review meeting of the national policy was organised in 2020 and so it is a holistic exercise the Ministry is embarking on to ensure that our documents are more responsive to the needs of the vulnerable in the area of domestic violence, particularly women and girls for sustainable development.”
She called for coordinated collaborations among stakeholders to amplify issues of domestic violence and how to resource the Domestic Violence Fund.