By Samuel Duodu, Wamfie
THE Bishop of the Sunyani Diocese of the Methodist Church, Ghana, Rt. Rev. James K. Baffour-Awuah has called on the government to establish special law courts to deal with domestic violence cases at both regional and district levels.
He noted that parliament had passed the Domestic Violence Bill into law, but its implementation had been slow leading to the ever-increasing gender-based violence in the country.
“We still see and hear of child-trafficking, inhuman widowhood treatments, irresponsible parenting, child-labour, female genital-mutilation, unequal-gender-balancing among others in the country,” he observed
Rt. Rev. Baffour-Awuah made the call when he addressed the 29th Synod meeting of the Sunyani Diocese held at the Wamfie Wesley Chapel in the Dormaa East District of the Brong Ahafo Region, under the theme Holy Spirit, the source of Signs, Wonders and Miracles in the Church.
He, however, called on medical and legal practitioners and clinical psychologists, to join the efforts of the government in the implementation of the domestic violence law, while the government also collaborated with the various religious bodies in the country, to ensure the success of its implementation.
Rt. Rev. Baffour-Awuah also suggested to the government to resource the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs, in order for the ministry to function effectively if the country wanted to achieve its Millennium Development Goals, since the issues of women and children were crucial to its attainment and called for severe penalties to be instituted against irresponsible parents in the country.
The Methodist Bishop of Sunyani further called for the inclusion of gender based violence in the curricula of schools; right from the kindergarten to the university level as well as teaching the subject in all teacher-training colleges to help reduce gender-based violence in the country.
Touching on indiscipline among the youth, Rt. Rev. Baffour-Awuah urged municipal and district assemblies to come out with local regulations, banning children from attending funerals, dances of all kinds and visiting beer-bars among others.
He noted that both in the church and the community, acts of indiscipline such as lack of respect for the elderly, drug-abuse, fornication, breaking bounds in school, indecent dressing were seen among the youth.
Rt. Rev. Baffour-Awuah therefore called on parents and the elderly in the society, to exhibit good morals for the young ones to emulate, while he urged the church to come out with some code of ethics for its members to follow and stop imitating foreign cultures.
On the forthcoming elections, the Sunyani Methodist Bishop reiterated the call on all religious groups in the country, to continue to pray for a peaceful election and urged political parties and their aspirants, to campaign based on issues rather than insults.
The Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, Mr Kwadwo Adjei Darko, who is also a member of the Synod, appealed to religious leaders, to lead the campaign against indiscriminate dumping of refuse and illegal logging, that had resulted in climatic changes, which were affecting food production.
Prayers were said at the meeting for world peace, the nation, the church and the region.