ActionAid Ghana has begun its National Social Norms and Behaviour Change Campaign in a bid to increase public awareness of violence as well as end gender-based violence in communities. This initiative forms part of the EU-funded project ‘Transformative Action for Gender Equality.
Dubbed ‘Protect the Vulnerable in Society from Violence—Get on Board!’ The campaign is expected to run for four months and will be aired on two national television networks, namely (GTV) Ghana Broadcasting Corporation and Onua Television.
The Transformative Action for Gender Equality Project is an EU-funded project being implemented by ActionAid Ghana and the International Federation of Women Lawyers of Ghana (FIDA Ghana). The objective of the project is to improve gender equality and achieve a long-term reduction in the prevalence of violence against women and girls across generations in Ghana. Another key objective of the project is to prevent and reduce violence experienced among underserved groups of women, girls, and persons with disabilities in the target districts through enhanced knowledge, positive societal attitudes, and the responsiveness of state actors.
Global statistics by UN Women have revealed that an estimated 736 million women—almost one in three (30 per cent of women aged 15 and older)—have been subjected to physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or both at least once in their lives. This figure does not include sexual harassment. Most of the violence against women is committed by current or previous spouses or intimate partners. More than 640 million women, or 26% of those aged 15 and older, have experienced intimate partner abuse. Similarly, the UN Women statistics show that about one in four Ghanaian women have suffered physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner.
TAGE’s Social Norms Campaign is aimed at reaching about 2 million Ghanaians, including 16,200 people in the eight (8) districts of project implementation, with educative messages on the rights of women, girls, and PWDs as well as the importance of protecting them from violence. The Campaign seeks to encourage the general population, (particularly men and boys) to openly lend their support to calls to respect women's and girls’ rights as well as keep them safe from violence. The intervention also seeks to cultivate the commitment of state agencies and the media to respond positively to calls for them to exhibit improved proactiveness and responsiveness to protect women and girls from violence. Various tools and approaches are to be applied in the Campaign including community and public outreach activities like community durbars, radio discussion programmes, stakeholder engagements and social media engagements. Various Video Documentaries, bearing endorsement messages and Calls to Action from Community Leaders across the project communities are also slated to be aired on national TV outlets (GTV and Onua TV). These messages will run between December 2023 and April 2024.
The Project Manager, Madam Joyce Danquah, emphasised that with women and girls constituting at least 50% of the country’s population, it was simply impossible to achieve national development if they remained in vulnerable and unsafe conditions as this would make them timid and unproductive ultimately negatively affecting national development and growth. She further stated that citizens needed to know what constitutes violence and what actions to take when one witnesses or falls victim to violence. She appealed to the broader society to support the Campaign towards keeping women safe from violence.
The campaign is an effort by ActionAid Ghana to emphasise the need to end gender-based violence in communities, especially during this festive season, and to see zero violence in the new year.