The Country Director for the International Child Development Programme (ICDP), Mad Joyce Larnyoh, has called on parents and guardians to promote healthy gender norms in the family to reduce gender based violence

She said it was important to inculcate healthy gender norms in children because they were often influenced by these norms, which in turn shaped their behaviours as well as values as they grew up.

She observed that, one basic unit that started gender based violence was the family, where parents and guardians sank the “man has power” idea into the thoughts of children during their upbringing adding that it was not a healthy practice since it contributed to the timidity in children especially girls making it difficult for them to speak up on violent issues.

Madam Larnyoh, made the observation at a day’s workshop organised by ICDP, for civil society organizations working in the interest of children and selected media personnel as part of a nationwide sensitization programme.

She urged parents and guardians to treat children equally and not based on their sex and gender in order not for them to assume that violence was the only way to get what they wanted, especially boys, and not have in mind that men are bullies who push children and women around.

Mr Abdul Rauf Issah, Coordinator for ICDP, explained that no one was born with a gender role, rather, society had made it so assigning roles to the different sexes, adding that with concerted effort, it could be changed.

He noted that although change was difficult, changing gender norms from the family was the best way to move gradually from the issues of gender based violence.

ICDP is a non-governmental organization funded by PLAN Ghana and supported by the Dutch government, which focuses on ending child marriage, reducing sexual and gender based violence and ensuring economic empowerment of girls and women.

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