Open Data Day: iWatch Africa criticizes DOVVSU & MoGCSP over failure to publish data on violence and discrimination against women

Tracking violence and discrimination in Ghana

Policy and News Director of iWatch Africa, Gideon Sarpong has criticized the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Protection (MoGCSP) as well as the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) over their failure to make relevant data on violence and discrimination against women available to all Ghanaians.

Mr. Sarpong, who delivered a short presentation on the theme ‘How open data and technology can reduce violence and discrimination against women and girls’ as part of the 2019 Open Data Day forum, insisted that DOVVSU and MoGCSP are not doing enough to drive the conversation about “violence and discrimination if they hold on to data” which can be used by civil society in their advocacy work.

This year’s Open Data Day was marked last Saturday in Accra as part of a global effort to promote transparency and accountability and value creation by insisting that data should be made available to all.

Gideon Sarpong, News Director, iWatch Africa presenting on Open Data Day 2019

“Why doesn’t the ministry have the relevant data or reports published on their website? Why should it be difficult for the DOVSSU to publish their annual reports?” Mr. Sarpong asked.

“This information is vital in addressing the challenge faced by our mothers and sisters when it comes to violence against women. It is not enough to gather data or prepare reports and keep them in your office cabinets. We must all be committed to promoting transparency and accountability,” he added.

UN Women in their 2018 report revealed that out of the 15 million adolescents who experienced forced sex, data gathered from 30 countries showed that less than one percent ever sought professional help.

Mr. Sarpong promised to launch an interactive data explorer as part of iWatch Africa’s broader effort to deal with Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) and called on all civil society organizations in the SGBV sector and men to work together to protect women and girls in the country.

“Every day we hear stories of rape and violence against women and girls. We as men have a great responsibility to deconstruct the negative patriarchal mind-sets and help ensure that those human ‘predators’ are brought to justice in this country. We cannot afford to remain silent in the face evident threat against the women in this country. We all have a role to speak up and help others,” Mr. Sarpong stated.


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Gideon Sarpong

Gideon Sarpong is a media practitioner with over six years experience in data, investigative and policy journalism. Gideon is currently the Policy and News Director at iWatch Africa. His major role includes developing news strategy for correspondents across Ghana, as well as designing project and policy focus for the organisation. He is an author with over eight publications; a fellow of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), Thomson Reuters Foundation (Wealth of Nations Program), Commonwealth Youth Program (DYLP) and Bloomberg Data for Health Program. Gideon holds a degree in economics from the University of Cape Coast and PgD in Policy Journalism and Media Studies from the University of Zambia. He is a firm believer in the use of data journalism and technology for development and is committed to promoting transparency and accountability in Africa.

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