The Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hajia Lariba Zuweira Abudu with the Chief of Gbullung

The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (GCSP) has engaged some rural communities in the northern region to educate them about the government’s social protection policy interventions.

The initiative dubbed: Community Dialogue on Social Protection and Social Issues highlighted on issues of domestic violence, child abuse, gender, human trafficking and social welfare among others.

Officials from the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and the Local Government Service interacted with the chiefs and people of Zakpalsi and Kpilgini in the Mion district as well as the people of Gbullung in the Kumbungu district to sensitize them on issues of child labour, gender based violence, forced marriage, and child rights among other fundamental human rights enshrined in the constitution of Ghana.

Photo credit – Kaserm Danquah

The sector Minister, Hajia Lariba Zuweira Abudu, in an interview with Journalists after the two-day sensitization programme underscored the importance of equipping the people with the requisite knowledge about some of the poverty alleviating policies such as the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), Ghana School Feeding Programme, the National Health Insurance, among others.

She disclosed Parliament has recently passed the anti-witchcraft law which when it receives the assent of President Nana Akufo-Addo will help to curb the rampant witchcraft accusations, the inhumane treatment of the alleged individuals which in some instances lead to the lynching the victims.   

“Our advice as a Ministry is that the public should desist from killing people because even if they [victims] don’t even report to the police, the state has every right to deal with you, prosecute and jail you.”  

The Minister continued, “I told them that if somebody is sick, you go to the hospital because that is the first point of call before any other thing. You cannot take somebody’s life because he or she has been accused of witchcraft”.  

The Gender Minister Speaking to the press (photo credit – Kaserm Danquah)

“And that is one of the prominent things we’re going round the communities trying to educate them especially the passage of the law; we need to let people know that there’s now a law” Hajia Lariba emphasized.

The lawmaker revealed there is also a social protection bill currently before Parliament for approval before it would be passed into law.

Abandoned children

On the issue babies being abandoned in communities, the Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister used the opportunity to admonish individuals and couples to adopt such babies and integrate into their families.

“I learnt there was an abandoned child here, and anybody in the community can meet with the social welfare department and the necessary documents will be done and you adopt the child but the engagement was purposely on what our ministry does for communities” she stressed.  

The Ministry is expected to organize similar dialogues in communities in the North East and Savannah Regions.