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Enugu Residents Express Worry Over High Cost of Funeral, Marriage In Igbo Land

By Ignatius Okpara

Participants at the Enugu State launch of a research document on societal expectations of men and women – a DFID funded programme, have expressed worry over some extreme demand of Igbo tradition and culture, such as high cost of funeral ceremonies and marriages.

They noted that such social responsibilities had remained a serious burden on the men folk in Igbo land, adding that consequence of the over-bloated pressure on them often amounts to deteriorating health conditions which shortens their life span.

The development, according to the participants, has also led to increasing number of widows in the land.

In his remarks at the launch of the document entitled: “the Landmark Research Report”, Being a Man in Nigeria: perceptions and Realities, packaged by Voices 4 Change organization, the immediate past Vice Chancellor (VC), University of Nigeria, (UNN), Professor Bartho Okolo, stated that some of the unfriendly cultures have really done serious harm to men in the land.

Also speaking, Rev. Fr. Professor Hyacinth Ichoku, of UNN disclosed that recent research findings placed the average life span of Nigerian men at 50 years, which is one of the worst in Africa, noting that such phenomenon may be linked to societal stress on the men.

He, however regretted that some Igbo culture and tradition had remained static, instead of being dynamic, even in the 21st century.

Voices 4 Change team leader, Caroline Enve, in her speech, explained that the programme was aimed at strengthening the enabling environment for the empowerment of adolescence girls and women in Nigeria.

She said the programme was also targeted at adolescence girls, women and those around them, particularly boys, men and traditional as well as religious formal and informal institutions.

The goal of working with the above mentioned stakeholders and institutions according to her is to facilitate a desired shift in negative and stereotypical attitudes and behaviours towards girls and woman and create an enabling environment for positive gender relations, as well as peaceful co-existence.

Participants were drawn from various sectors, including non-governmental organizations, NGOs, Civil society groups, religious and traditional institutions, amongst others.



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