|Programs Manager -GII Mrs. Mary Awelana Addah|
By: Akpabli Daniel Yao/IGNews/VR/Ho
To make Ghana a corruption free state, the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), a Local Chapter of Transparency International, has organized a one-day young women’s forum in the Volta Regional capital, Ho to educate and empower young women with the requisite knowledge to help in the fight against the act of corruption.
The forum which was targeted at young women in the various tertiary institution in the region was with the theme “Empowering young Women to sustain the fight against corruption in Ghana”.
According to the Programs Manager of GII Mrs. Mary Awelana Addah, trends in the transparency international research reveal that, women are less likely to engage into corruption but the increasing number of about 51.3 percent of women recorded in the Ghana’s 2010 total population census point out to the need to target women in the anti-corruption drive.
“it is crucial to engage women when it comes to the fight because women are directly affected when it comes to corruption. When the man is sacked for the act, the family’s burden lies on the shoulders of the woman. In some cases, too, they are the victims” She said.
She observed that, corruption is endemic in Africa hence the fight against the phenomenon in Ghana should be a collective responsibility on the part of every citizen.
She said, the GII is organizing many forums across the country in the quest to sensitize the citizenry and also engaging youth movements in the fight as well as the Mainstream media and Social media to help carry the message across.
The Acting Volta Regional Director of Commission on Human Right and Administrative Justice, Mr. Daniel Mensah who took the participants through the Anti-Corruption Laws in Ghana, focused on the whistle Blower’s Act 2006, (Act720)reiterated on the need to know the procedures involved and the remedies available to an individual who want to blow a whistle.
He cautioned, the Whistle blower to be sure of what he/she is coming to blow as the truth and that, he/he had not told any other persons for his/her identity can be protected for security reasons.
He noted that, nepotism, favoritism, Extortion, facilitation payment, embezzlement and many others are form through which corruption is manifested and call on all to desist from such acts.
He further applauded the GII for the initiative and pledge his support in collaborating with them in subsequent forum as he noted that, education is one of the core mandates of the CHRAJ.
The Volta Regional Officer of The Advocacy and Legal Advice Center (ALAC)-GII, Mr. Agbagba Bright noted that, the center, ALAC, was set up by the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), the local Chapter of Transparency international (TI) to assist the citizen especially the most vulnerable.
He said, ALAC is free, confidential and professional service that offers victim and witness of corruption an avenue to report and pursue incidence of corruption for redress.
He reiterated that, the aim of ALAC is to empower citizens to make and pursue corruption related complaints, provide legal advice and assistance to victims and witness of corruption, set up database on complaints received from the public and use data on complaints to advocate for greater structural and institutional changes.
He further directed all participants and any other persons to come directly to their office for report and pursuit of cases of corruption or call their toll-free lines (0800 100 250-MTN & Airtel and 0800 100 25-Vodafone) anytime they fall victims of corruption as he assured all for their safety.
Some participants who spoke to the media express gratitude to Ghana Integrity Initiative, ALAC and Commission on Human Right and Administrative Justice for organizing such an educative forum.
Some mentioned that, timidity, shyness, fear of been chastised and many other factors make most of their fellow young women unable to report and pursue corruption cases meanwhile, these issues have a long way of affecting them negatively.
They noted that, the forum has equipped them with the more knowledge on the issues of corruptions, the institutions available to help and procedure to follow in seeking redress should they fall victim both in school and in the society in general.
They further lamented that “Measures should be quick enough to help victims of corrupt practices because the delay in the pursuit of such cases are making it difficult to come out with information in regards to corruption”
Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) the Local Chapter of Transparency International (TI) was launched in December 1999 as a non-partisan, non-profit civil empowerment organization.
It focuses on the delivery of essential themes necessary for the creation of a national integrity system.
The GII undertake three major research work annually on corruption as it contributed to the knowledge and basis for its advocacy work.
The GII’s work is largely based on advocacy for change in policy and practice, sensitizing political and other concerned parties and entering into dialogue on corruption to advocate for legislative and institutional reforms intended to better the lots of Ghanaians as well as cultivating anti-corruption behavior in everyday life through constant engagement with citizens on radio and television to create the ideal society of people who shun corruption
It also provides public education and capacity building by establishing Social Auditing Club (SACs) as part of efforts to ensure grassroot participation, efficient use of public resources and accountability in local governance through community monitoring projects.