[ 2012-06-24 ]
Widows call for LI on Domestic Violence Act
Bolgatanga, June 23(Akapule) GNA- This year's
International Widows Day has been marked in
Bolgatanga with a call on government to enact the
legislative instrument on Domestic Violence Act to
eliminate violence against women.
The Widows Network of Upper East Region made the
call in a resolution issued and read by Madam
Silvia Adabuga Wakem, a representative of the
Network on Saturday at Bolgatanga.
According to the Widows majority of them suffered
a lot of maltreatments including stripping naked,
forced confinement, widowhood inheritance and food
taboos during the death of their late husbands.
They indicated that these negative cultural
practices are meted out to them by their late
husbands relatives and expressed optimism that
when the legislative instrument on Domestic
Violence Act is passed into law, it would protect
them from the trauma they often went through.
Whilst commending some of chiefs of some
traditional areas including Tengzuk, Sakoti,
Duusi, Bongo, Winkongo and Kongo for banning some
of the negative cultural practices such as
stripping of widows during widowhood rites, they
expressed regret about the practice deeply rooted
in some of the communities in the Region
particularly in the Builsa District.
The resolution therefore called on the Regional
House of Chiefs to impress upon Chiefs in such
traditional areas where the practice was rift to
ban them since they violated the fundamental human
rights of the widows.
The resolution also called on the Media
practitioners and owners to devote much of their
space and time to talk on issues affecting widows
so as to inform policy makers and implementers to
act on them.
Mrs Betty Ayagba, National Director of the Widows
and Orphans Movement indicated that a research
conducted in the Talensi Nabdam District revealed
that about 139 children of widows have dropped out
of school, many denied access to the farmlands of
their late husbands and forceful remarriages of
majority of them to their late husbands relatives
against their will.
Mr Edmond Alagpulinsa , a Senior Principal
Investigator of the Commission on Human Rights and
Administrative Justice indicated that the 1992
constitution frown upon negative cultural
practices and taboos that infringes on the
fundamental human rights of the individual of
which widows are not exempted.
He entreated widows not to hesitate to report all
forms maltreatments meted out to them by late
families relatives which constituted violation of
human rights to the appropriate law enforcement
The Paramount Chief of the Sakoti Traditional
Area, Naba Sigri Bewong stressed the need for the
CHRAJ to visit all the 17 paramountcies in the
region to educate community members on the law
that infringes on human rights since majority of
the communities were ignorant about them.
Mr Gregory Dery Programme Manager of Action Aid
Ghana who expressed worry about the trend of the
negative cultural stressed the need for the
traditional rulers to embark upon vigorous
campaigns in their respective communities to stop
He warned families who maltreated widows that the
law would not hesitate to deal drastically with
them if they continued to make them suffer.
In speech read for him, the Upper East Region
Minister, Mr Mark Woyongo bemoaned spate of the
negative cultural practices in the Region which
affected human dignity and reiterated the need for
Traditional Rulers to abolish such cultural
The Occasion which was under the theme “Equal
Rights, Equal Opportunities and Progress for All”
was organised by the Widows and Orphans Movement
and sponsored by Action Aid Ghana.
It attracted traditional rulers, NGOs, Government
Departments, Widows, the Media, Assembly Members
Source - GNA
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