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General News
Delay in domestic violence cases to be addressed 1/23/2007
Tamale, Jan. 22, GNA- The long delays in domestic violence cases before the courts would be tackled as soon as the Domestic Violence Bill, which is currently before Parliament is passed into law, Hajia Alima Mahama, Minister of Women and Children''s Affairs has said. Hajia Mahama announced this in an address read on her behalf at the launch of a project and resource directory entitled: "Improving women access to justice

in the Northern and Upper East Regions", in Tamale on Monday. She said in line with this, the government was taken the necessary steps to strengthen the Attorney General''s Department to expedite action on such cases.

The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA)-Ghana and the Catholic Organisation for Relief and Development (CORDAID) are funding the Project.

Hajia Mahama said the sector Ministry with support from development partners and NGOs, was also working to promote legal literacy, create awareness and disseminate information about negative cultural practices that violate the rights of women such as female genital mutilation (FGM) cruel widowhood rites and ritual servitude.

Hajia Mahama commended FIDA for the provision of legal services to many women in the country, particularly those in the Northern Ghana. She urged the Federation to continue with its long-term objective of trying to bridge the gaps left by the country''s legal system in order to provide greater access to legal representation, counselling, support and legal remedies to promote human rights and enhance the status of women and children.

Mrs. Jane Quaye, Executive Director of FIDA-Ghana observed that in the Northern and Upper East Regions the belief and value systems, as well as customary practices, had affected the rights of women and girls in both positive and negative ways.

She said sentiments expressed by the people in the two regions indicated that the ideological basis of those traditions had been framed on the perception of females being temporary members of society. "Practices from birth through death were found to be gendered.

Analysis of ideas and practices showed clear indications of compromises on the rights of women and girls in the three Northern Regions," she said, adding: "FIDA intends to explore these for women''s rights advocacy".

Mrs. Quaye announced that a paralegal office had been established in Tamale and selected opinion leaders trained as paralegals to act as referral points and advocate for the promotion and protection of women''s rights.

She said the empowerment of women was crucial to the elimination of gender inequality and it should not be seen as a fight between the sexes adding: "The advantages of gender equity have far-reaching results as it promotes development for families, communities and the nation".

Source:
GNA


 
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