Plan International Ghana has observed 2018 International Day of the Girl-Child which falls on October 11 every year to champion and give girls the opportunity to share and highlight their concerns.
The celebration is aimed at inspiring commitments and actions of the global community to promote fundamental rights of girls and ensure a holistic development.
Plan International Upper West Ghana Unit with its partners provided girls the opportunity to ‘take over’ Radio Upper West as hosts and guests during the station’s morning show on October 11 to discuss issues affecting them.
Young girls came mainly from University for Development Studies Wa Campus to moderate the morning show programme as hosts and panel members.
Key regional leaders and directors of state agencies and civil society organizations also contributed to the issues discussed and they bordered on rape and defilement amongst others.
Inspector Stella Niabi of the Wa Regional DOVVSU, who was a guest, said inability to pay medical exams fees often prevented justice from being done for rape and defilement victims.
‘Currently no money or funds have been set aside and so victims of rape and defilement have to bear their medical costs which many are unable to pay, so out of our pockets we do pay some of the medical bills,’ she said.
She said inability of rape and defilement victims to pay for their medical fees: ‘is hindering investigations and prosecutions’.
She appealed to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection as well as district assemblies to consider establishing domestic violence and victim support fund particularly for rape and defilement victims.
Ms Umufadilu Zakaria, a student of UDS in Campus, told the Ghana News Agency that the current jail term for rape and defilement culprits of five to 25 years needs to be increased.
She urged members of parliament to consider tougher punishment, besides a longer jail term, for perpetrators of rape and defilement.
Dr Abdulai Abubakar, the Ag Director of Ghana Health Service of Upper West, expressed worry that medical reports are not covered by the national health insurance scheme.
‘When you go to hospital and you face any challenge in accessing healthcare approach the management- for all you know some of the charges may not be known by management’ he said.
This global action for International Day of the Girl is a call for a social and political revolution to tear down the barriers that continue to hold girls back.
By occupying spaces and places where they are rarely seen or heard, girls and young women are showing where they belong and demanding equality.
During the ‘GirlsTakeover’, girls stepped up while leaders stepped aside, becoming Presidents, Ministers and Chief Executive Officers amongst others to demand equality all over the world.