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World Food Programme organizes procession and durbar to commemorate ’16 days of activism to end gender-based violence against women and girls in Karaga

The World Food Programme (WFP) has organized a procession and community durbar to commemorate ‘16 days of activism to end Gender-based violence against women and girls.’ The event which took place on Thursday December 8, 2022 was put together in collaboration with the Savannah Women Integrated Development Agency (SWIDA) and brought together women and other minority groups in Karaga.

Before the main durbar, a procession of the women was held throughout the streets of Karaga with the aim of creating awareness on eradicating all forms of gender-based violence against women and children. During the procession, the women carried placards some of which read: “we are all part of the solution to prevent gender-based violence”, “gender-based violence is a human rights violation” and “food security helps break the cycle of gender-based violence” among others.

The durbar was on the theme: “UNITE to End Violence Against Women and Girls for Improved Food Security.”

In his welcome address the District Coordinating Director for Karaga, Alhaj Alhassan Kamara, who represented the District Chief Executive for the area called on all organizations involved in activities that will end all forms of gender-based violence to come forward and partner the assembly to mitigate the canker. He said the assembly’s doors are open for these kinds of collaboration and commended WFP and all UN agencies for their continued collaboration in all sectors of life.

The Karaga District Director of the Department of Social Welfare, Mr. Iddrisu Issahaku for his part elaborated on the purpose of the community durbar and asked for the support of men in the area to achieve the goal of ending all forms of gender-based violence in homes and in the society in general.

In her address, the Head of the field Office of WFP in Tamale, Madam Gyamila Abdul Wahabi explained the reason why Karaga was chosen for the durbar and also commended partners and other UN agencies for their continued support in their operations in various communities.

“WFP decided to mark this year’s 16days of activism in Karaga for two reasons. Firstly, Karaga is currently the most severe food-insecure district in Ghana, according to the 2020 Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis (CFSVA). To address this, we are working with the Ghana Health Service and other partners, to implement a nutrition programme for pregnant and nursing women, adolescents and children between the ages of 6-23 months, while men and women are being supported to improve their livelihoods. We are keen to ensure the successes chalked in this programme are sustained which is why we need women and girls to be empoworerd to enable them contribute to household food and nutrition security.” She said.

She again added that, “…The second reason why we are in Karaga is the perception of a high incidence of child marriage. Early marriage ends the hopes and dreams of girls and hampers efforts to end poverty by reducing women’s earnings in adulthood. Children born to child mothers are more at risk of death or poor development due to poor nutrition. Campaigners say that ending child marriage will boost efforts to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals by improving access to education, encouraging economic growth, improving maternal and child health and enhancing nutrition and food security.”

Madam Gyamila Abdul Wahabi, Head of WFP Field Office in Tamale addressing the gathering

The event was put together by SWIDA. The Savannah Women Integrated Development Agency is a women-led and rights-based organization focusing on advocacy activities, awareness raising and capacity building for women.

The durbar was chaired by Mr. Lawrence Iddrisu, Karaga District Director of Education.

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