We the members of Modern Women of Wisdom Organization an all Female Humanitarian NGO are gladdened by the pledge by Mr.Rockson Ayine Bukari, the Upper East Regional Minister to abolish negative and outmoded cultural practices that halt the progress of women in the Upper East region.
Although culture reflects the inner workings of the society by defining values and influencing personality development, culture is dynamic.
It is principal to note that culture can, and does, change over time as societal norms change.
Harmful traditions share origins in the historically unsymmetrical social and economic relationships between men and women and they exist in many forms.
Negative cultural practices that hamper the progress of women goes beyond domestic violence. It includes forced marriage, dowry-related violence, marital rape, sexual harassment, intimidation at work and in educational institutions, forced pregnancy, forced abortion, forced sterilization, trafficking , widowhood rites, child marriage and forced prostitution.
Such negative practices cause trauma, injuries and sometimes death. Female genital mutilation, for example, is a common cultural practice in certain parts of the Northern region . This outmoded cultural practice causes bleeding, infection, urinary incontinence, difficulties with childbirth and even death.
According to the World Health Organization, about 130 million girls undergo that procedure globally and 2 million are at risk each year, despite international agreements banning the practice.
On the issue of widowhood rites, some widows are sometimes forced to marry another male in the same family her husband died from or reimburse her dowry.
When the woman agrees to marry the relative of her late husband, her husband’s properties goes to the new husband.
Women who get adamant are sometimes beaten by their biological brothers and dragged to their in-laws house because they don’t want to give back “cows”.
Some families justify the idea of forcing widows to be inherited by other males in the family with arguments that the whole family “contributed to the bride price and so the the woman is their “Family Property.”
Efforts to alter or eradicate these negative practices are often met with suspicion or hostility from those communities practicing them, particularly when efforts originate from outside the community.
For many members of these societies, ending their traditions is unimaginable, as such practices constitute an integral part of their sociocultural fabric.
This time round, we are very optimistic because the clarion call was made by an indigene.
Culture is not static but is in consistent flux, transforming and reforming. We strongly believe people will change their behavior when they understand the hazards and indignity of harmful practices and they realize that it is possible to give up harmful practices without giving up meaningful aspects of their culture.
We salute the Upper East regional minister for taking such a bold step and we pledge our unflinching support to him as he rolls away such negative cultural practices from Upper East Region.
Long Live Ghana
Long Live Women
Long Live MWOW
Afua Foriwaa Boafo- 0249382845
Mercy Darkoaa- 0244832860
Franklin Brobbey- 0240566955