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"57th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW57) "
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Elimination and Prevention Of All Forms Of Violence Against Women and Girls


Center for Africa Development & Progress (CADeP) is a Non Governmental Organization dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free Africa that ensures opportunity for Africans. CADeP offers policy proposals, innovative ideas for the sole purpose of developing leadership and personality qualities required to launch the continent onto the pathway for genuine economic, social, political and spiritual progress in a democracy.CADeP, among some organizations have started raising this kind of awareness in order to establish quality public education in Ghana especially for the younger generation on the essentials of progress and African Civilization. We promote African entrepreneurship and business as a means to sustain economic growth and development.

The priority theme for the fifty-seventh session of the Commission on the Status of Women(CSW), ┐Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls┐, could not have been more appropriate, particularly so when women and girls still suffer inhumane treatment in the 21st century.

The reason for the use of coercive force is simply to establish, maintain power and control over a victim. This manifests itself in many form including physical/bodily harm, sexual activity elicited through the use of force, assault, the use of physical violence to instill fear, threats and intimidation, economic deprivation etc. The resultant effect is that victims are denied their fundamental human rights, whiles their psychological and emotional well being is compromised, and their development is seriously undermined.

Though violence against women and girls is a global phenomenon, it is quite common in poor and developing countries where struggle for survival takes precedence over human rights.
In Africa in particular, violence against the female gender is rooted deep in the social fabric of the people, their culture and traditions. As a result, the perpetrator is sometimes not even aware that he is abusing a fellow human being since subconsciously; he has been made through to understand through up-bringing that, he has more rights over women and girls.

In Ghana for instance, official records indicate that 3 out of 5 women suffer some form of violence, whiles one out of 3 women is reported to have experienced some form of assault from men. The victims of these barbaric acts are mostly related (by blood) to the perpetrators.

CADeP strongly believe that the number of women and girls reported to have suffered abuse is an underestimation because not all victims of abuse report their ordeal to the authorities.

Suffice it to state that in most African cultures ,violence within the family is considered a private matter, therefore families often settle these issues privately on the blindside of the law.

This notwithstanding, some women and girls have managed to bring their suffering into the limelight. This group of women and girls ought to be saluted for refusing to sweep their horrendous experiences under the carpet, and making it possible for the rest of the society to share in their stories.

We should encourage more women and girls to report all forms of abuse to make it possible for society to isolate those who disrespect, violate and discriminate against women.
We acknowledge the level of progress being made globally as far as advocacy against violence is concerned. However we blieve governments need to do more to root out this social canker.

Recommendations
To end all forms of violence against women and girls and improve their welfare, we urge Member States to:

Rigorously fight discrimination against women and girls by promoting gender equality.
Member states must be encouraged to implement existing UN Conventions for the Promotion of Human Rights, notably the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Convention on Rights of the Child as well as the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. The UN General Assembly Resolution 1325 on conflict, Refugees and Displaced Persons among others calls for humane treatment for refuges women and children.

Intensify Public Education
Conscious efforts must be made towards forming and changing attitudes of men and boys with the view to preventing violence in the first place. Member states should use the power of the media to promote healthy relationship between the opposite genders.
We must inculcate into school pupils a higher sense of discipline and positive attitudes that frowns on violent behaviors. Opportunities should also be provided in the school curricula for the development of skills and values for positive relationships.

Promotion of wealth creation programs to help reduce poverty among women as well as dependency.
Women in developing countries lack the economic power and therefore are dependent on men for sustenance and survival. We urge Member States to take deliberate steps to develop programs towards the economic emancipation of women.

Stringent Laws to deal with perpetrators
We encourage governments to institute laws that will punish perpetrators to discourage future would-be perpetrators whiles at the time adequately compensate victims. It is not just enough to promulgate laws; rather member states should pay particular attention to the enforcement of the laws.

Introduce reward system to encourage men not be violent
Whiles calling on governments to deal with human rights violators, it is necessary that persons (in third world countries with violent history) who promote the rights of women and girls get recognized to serve as a motivating factor for others to want to emulate.

Tackle the menace of religious fanatics
Governments should take bold steps to deal ruthlessly with individuals and organizations which violate the human rights of women and girls in the name of religion. Such individuals/organizations and their sponsors should be named and shamed and even blacklisted.


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