Chiefs Urge To Abolish Outmoded Cultural Practices BA/R

The District Social Welfare Officer for Asunafo South, Mr Frank Adjei, has urged traditional and opinion leaders to help abolish or modernise certain traditional and cultural practices that are hindering development.

 

These practices, he said, if not stopped would affect the country’s inability to achieve the Millennium Development Goals on Universal Primary Education (Goal 2), Promoting Gender Equity (Goal 3), Reducing Child Mortality (Goal 4) and Improving Maternal Health (Goal 5).

Mr Adjei made these remarks when he addressed the chiefs and people at separate durbars at Anwiam, Kwabena Kuma and Adomakokrom all in the Asunafo South District of the Brong Ahafo. 

The programme which was aimed at empowering participants to be at the forefront of educating others against harmful cultural practices and domestic violence was organized by the Asunafo South District Assembly in collaboration with the Department of Gender and sponsored by United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA).

Mr Adjei said that practices such as widowhood rites, early marriages, Female Genital Mutilations (FGM) and tribal marks were dehumanizing and should be stopped.

According to him, the UNFPA report from 2000 to 2011 showed that an estimated 34 per cent of women in developing countries were married or in unions before their 18th birthday.

He further noted that early marriage also pushed women further down the social ladder and reinforced their status as submissive, increasing their vulnerability to gender base domestic violence and also reduced health standards among victims.

Mr Adjei therefore enjoined traditional rulers and opinion leaders as agents of change to use their wisdom and authority to either abolish or modernise inimical cultural practices in their communities to pave the way for development.

The Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Director of the Department of Gender and Social Protection, Mr James Twene interpreted the legal implication of widowhood rites and other negative cultural practices. He referred to the people to the Article 21 and 26, subsection 2 of the 1992 Constitution which talked about the fundamental right and cultural practices respectively.

“The multiple human rights violations widows and their children go through in this part of the world in the name of culture has led widows to poverty, migration, social oppression and many children are also being denied access to education and health,” he said.

Some of the widows who attended the durbar narrated their ordeals and called for an end to the bad cultural practices in the country to enable them to contribute meaningfully to national development.

They disclosed that most of the widows who could not stand the humiliation, beatings and other ill-treatments sometimes commit suicides.

Prior to the durbar, Mr Twene treated topics such as Domestic Violence Act, Challenges Victims of Domestic Violence go through and the role of the security agencies and the community in fighting Domestic Violence at Camp No. 1, Asibrem and Dantano.

 

Sources: ISD (Emmanuel Yaw Acheampong)