According to Sodzi Sodzi-Tettey, the Council Chair of the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), Senior High Schools (SHS) have turned into a breeding ground for sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).
Despite the fact that the problem had not been recognised and was not effectively treated in schools, he described the phenomena as a “endemic disease” in the culture where there were many such cases.
“Sexual harassment and violence are not adequately addressed, despite policies and counselling departments.
The senior year of high school is a very impressionable and susceptible time for pupils, according to him.
At a forum on gender and education that was put on by the CSJ and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Mr. Sodzi-Tettey made the remark.
“Sexual Harassment in Senior High Schools; The Role of Stakeholders” was the focus of the discussion.
According to a research on gender-based violence and harassment (GBVH) by Francis Bibuksi, Principal Labour Officer at the Labour Department, roughly 77% of workplace violence and harassment events occur in urban areas.
A total of 9,350 workers from all 16 regions were surveyed, 4,867 of them were men and 4,483 of whom were women.
Mr Bibuksi explained that females stood a higher risk of encountering at least one form of workplace violence and harassment than their male counterparts.
This, he said, included sexual abuse, sexual harassment, rape, intimidation at workplace among others.
“Despite the legal provision in the country, sexual harassment is prevalent and often confused with courting or playful flirting”, he stated.
He noted that the survey findings indicated that harassment and violence were prevalent among individuals aged 22 to 25.
Mr Bibuksi stated that violence denied children their right to access education and their right to respect and non-discrimination in school.
“This is illustrated by the levels of school drop-out that are directly linked to school violence, particularly among girls”, he explained.
He urged that national institutions mandated to create awareness of these phenomena should target their education programmes at individuals at the tertiary level.
The founder of the Girls Excellence Movement (GEM), Juliana Ama Kplorifa said there were a lot of students who faced challenges of emotional and sexual abuse due to sexual harassment in schools and the home.
She claimed that because sexual abuse could occur anywhere, there was no safe harbour for victims of the crime either in schools, churches, homes, or places of employment.