Pan African Women’s Day is commemorated on July 31 and has been designated by the African Union as a day to celebrate and acknowledge women’s contributions towards the development of the African continent while galvanising efforts to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment.
In the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, Pan African Women’s Day provides an opportunity to acknowledge the struggles of women and girls with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which further compound experiences of discrimination and violence.
The Enough! Project in Ghana, funded by the European Union, celebrates Pan African Women’s Day, and calls on society to support women in Africa and the diaspora by working together to eliminate sexual and gender-based violence.
The ENOUGH! Project is being implemented in Mali, Liberia, and Ghana to empower women, girls, boys, and men to take positive action in ending sexual and gender-based violence.
Needs of women
In Ghana, the project is led by Oxfam and WiLDAF Ghana providing support to local Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and women’s groups to champion the needs of women and girls who experience gender-based violence.
The project also supports CSOs to influence communities and institutions to challenge harmful social norms and practices that reinforce the root causes of gender-based violence.
Under the project, nine local partner organisations have received funding to advocate for improved protection and support for survivors of gender-based violence.
According to the 2016 Ghana Statistical Survey on Domestic Violence, almost 30 per cent of the women surveyed reported experiencing domestic violence.
Recognising gender-based violence as COVID-19’s ‘shadow pandemic’, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) estimated that in 2020 an additional 31 million cases of gender-based violence were recorded globally in the first six months of government lockdowns and restrictions.
In response, Enough! partners have also refocused their work to recognise the negative impact of COVID-19 on women and girls.
To commemorate Pan African Women’s Day in 2021, Oxfam, WiLDAF Ghana and Enough! local partners will engage with stakeholders to foster awareness and encourage individuals to #Say Enough to the various harms of sexual and gender-based violence, advocate for improved access to justice for victims of sexual and gender-based violence, and reject social norms and cultural practices that hinder survivors from obtaining justice.
Join the campaign
We urge the public to join Oxfam, WiLDAF Ghana and Enough! Local partners in our online campaigns and events by posting their commitments to #SayEnough to sexual and gender-based violence, and tag Oxfam, WiLDAF and the European Union.
We call on all Ghanaians to join us in taking action on sexual and gender-based violence.
We similarly urge stakeholders and duty bearers to continue in their efforts during and beyond the global pandemic to provide the resources necessary to support survivors of gender-based violence.
The writer is a Gender Advisor, Oxfam in Ghana