Monday, July 30, 2007

Interview with Gifty Dzah, Programme Assistant, ABANTU for Development

This video features Gifty Dzah who shared her view on how best ICTs could help facilitate the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act which was recently passed by the Ghanaian Parliament.
What is your name and what do you do with ABANTU for Development?
My name is Gifty Dzah and I work with ABANTU for Development and I am the programme assistant in charge of National Coalition on the Women Manifesto for Ghana as well as coordinate other programmes. I am actually in charge of advocacy and public awareness.
What is the domestic violence?
The domestic Violence Act was passed by Parliament and endorsed by the President on 3rd May 2007 and it is now a law that came about because Ghana's criminal code didn't completely cover all domestic violence issues. The Act is based on provisions from the UN declaration on human right and then our constitution and the Children's Act. The Domestic Violence Act basically looks at the definition of Domestic Violence, filing complains, police assistance then there is a session that looks at protection orders for both victims and people who report on behalf of victims then there is another session that looks at miscellanous provisions that is the fund to support the Domestic Violence Act and the management board among others.
What Role can ICTs play in the Implementation of the Domestic Violence Act?
When I think about the role ICTs will play in the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act, I look at mobile phones, the internet, computers among others. So it is not only about sofwares and all that.Now I think that we need a national hotline which we don't have which I think ICTs can help us with that. All the mobile networks could set-up a code that is easily accessible.It could be toll free or call back and you don't pay anything for that.So far, our land phones do not have those special codes or pay phones do not have those special codes. So there is the need to set-up a national hotline and then to online counseling services. People do not always want to go and seat in front of a counselor and to talk about issues so those who have access to internet could visit the site and then talk to the counselor online and then again too for information dissemination as well as education of the public, we could have a website created and have regular programmes on TV and Radio.

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