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GHANA: Bongo Traditional Area Ban Dehumanising Widowhood Rites

The Paramount Chief of of the Bongo Traditional Area in the Upper East Region, Naba Baba Salifu Aleemeyaarum, has banned a widowhood right human rights activists condemn as dehumanising.

In the light of this the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), on Wednesday commended Naba Salifu for placing the ban on the performance act.

Mr Sulemana Abdul Hakeem, Acting Bongo District Director of CHRAJ made the commendation when he delivered a lecture on the topic “Female Genital Mutilation, the Law and Human Rights”, at a one-day Information and Communication workshop for the Media on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

The workshop organized by the Ghanaian Association for Women Welfare (GAWW) was to sharpen the skills of the media in championing the fight against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

Under the widowhood rites, widows were forced to strip naked in public and undergoes other unpleasant exercises that abused their right to dignity.

He urged other paramount chiefs to emulate the chief of Bongo and pointed out that certain negative cultural practices such as FGM and the widowhood rites among others constituted the violation of Human Rights and had to be abandoned or modified to suit modern society.

Mrs Eunice Maasodong, Secretary of GAWW entreated the Media to focus more on issues affecting the dignity of women and expose those who abused them, so that they could be dealt with according to the Law.

SOURCE: Myjoyonline.com

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DATE: 23/02/2008

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