On Thursday, the Ghana Country Coordinating Mechanism of the Global Fund inaugurated a network to promote the country’s prevention of sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment.
The country’s pool of facilitators for issues connected to sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment (SEAH) will be provided through the Protection against Sexual Exploitation, Abuse, and Harassment (PSEAH) network.
It will also act as a secure location where victims may report any type of SEAH issue.
Introducing the network on behalf of the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, Madam Emma Ofori Agyemang, Director, Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Ministry of Health, bemoaned the rise in violent and harassing incidents and tasked the network with fostering a SEAH-free environment, particularly at work.
According to her, 67 percent of SEAH occurrences occurred in people aged 22 and 23, and the majority of these incidents happened during the daylight hours of employment.
She said that the Ashanti Region had an incidence of 27% and that the Greater Accra Region had the highest prevalence at 35%.
In her discussion of the root causes and risk factors of sexual exploitation and harassment, Madam Agyemang noted that personal conflicts and disagreements accounted for 21% of the cases documented, workplace power abuse accounted for 20.5% of them, and socio-cultural norms that condone violence and harassment accounted for 15.21% of the cases.
“Discrimination and gender stereotypes also accounted for 14.07% and 11.88%, respectively, while improper organisational setup, organisation, or attitude accounted for 14.78%,” the author continued.
38% of the reported incidents, she claimed, had gotten no attention at all, while 29% of them had been peacefully resolved.
The Director demanded that comprehensive policies be put in place at both the national and corporate levels to assist efforts to eradicate workplace violence and harassment.
People need to be made aware of what is proper behaviour in the workplace, according to Dr. Anthony Ofosu, the Network’s Chairman.
“No one is allowed to touch you in any manner since it is improper,” he said.
According to Samuel Hackman, the Executive Secretary of the Country Coordinating Mechanism of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, the network brought together representatives from government agencies, the Ghanaian UN System, development partners, civil society organisations, adolescent girls and young women, and the main Ghanaian recipients of Global Fund grants to champion the campaign.
The goal of the social media campaign “PSEAH is everyone’s responsibility” is to establish a society free of SEAH, and the CCM Ethics Officer, Catherine Bentum-Williams, asked everyone to take part. — GNA