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Civil Society Groups Take Fight Against Harmful Cultural Practices To Enugu Community

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – A community based Organization,  (CBO), operating under the plartform of  Health Care Support Services HCSS,  in Partnership with foremost Civil Society Group, Women’s Aids Collective WACOL and ActionAids Nigeria, have taken the message of fight against elimination of harmful cultural practices to Ikem  Etiti  Community in Isi Uzo Council area of Enugu state, where they engaged their Traditional leaders, Town Union Executives and Women.

 It said the aim of the  One day engagement “With traditional leaders \town union Executives and women was to sensitize them on the need to eliminate all manner  of harmful cultural practices existing in their domains and locality.

Speaking during a visit to the Community recently, the Project Director, and team leader of HCSS, Mrs. Njideka Agbasiere  stressed the need for everyone to join hands together and say no to such uncivilized Cultural Practices in the area. 

“Traditional leader of Ikem Etiti ,Igwe Felix ogbuke, and  some members of his Cabinet, town union executive President and secretary,  and some women from the three villages making up the Ikem Etiti  community were present during the visit.

According to the project Director, “we are in a world in which women are not taken seriously in decision making, Many of the girls and women are ignorant of the existing laws protecting women/girls from Gender Based Violence. 

“They are also ignorant of State and federal government lawswl which have already been enacted on inheritance of women in their fathers property and their husbands property upon their deaths.When girls/ women  learn about their rights, they are able to speak out and mobilize others to speak for their rights.

“Ignorance of these laws leaves girls and young women vulnerable because they lack back up defenses against sexual coercion, rape and other forms of abuses and the means and ways to address redress and seek justice.

She noted that ‘Child marriages are rampant and teenage pregnancy and girls dropout from school even from primary and junior secondary schools.

She said the visit was “an opportunity to demonstrate, encourage advocacy, sensitization and information in the community. 

It was also a forum to Engage the traditional leaders, cabinet members and women to review the impact of previous education of the rights of women, their knowledge of the inheritance rights, as well as their knowledge of the inheritance provision for women as already enthroned in the Enugu state laws and bye laws.

 “Know the existing laws protecting women/girls from gender based violence.When you are sexually or domestically abused do not keep quiet others who know about it should help to promote means of getting redress. 

“Women and girls need education to be empowered.Identifying and responding to violence, crimes against women and  girls.

The interaction equally  afforded them the opportunity to “Review issue of rampant child marriages, teenage pregnancy, school drop out of girls and blithe educational opportunities of girls due to lack of parental  interest in the education of girl child.  Review of the community SGBV committees  activities.

They equally discussed issue of Female Genital Mutilation FGM in the community and other traditional practices.The interaction produced a lot of vocalized information in the community, such  who are abused through spousal rape and domestic violence that usually erupts. 

“The voice of women have opened up the avenues to listen, adding that the community usually take action for redress. 

“Issues usually handled through women groups who mediate, then it is usually referred to family meetings and community groups. 

“Now the women’s voices has reflected better in the attitudes usually taken by the men where a lot of the men in the community believe that women are tamed or subdued by beating them they now look at the causes and take action.

” Some hold the view that women are heavily indoctrinated to be big headed after women’s training on their rights. 

“Youths now flog openly men who domestically frequently beat their wives to stop it. Men are discussing seriously the rights of inheritance of property under parents and spouses children inheritance in the family without discrimination of whether male or female.

“In conclusion and recommendation, Igwe Ogbuke of Ikem Etiti, enlightened the community members on these laws and bye laws of which he had gone to many seminars and work shops under the aegis of the traditional leaders and state’s council of chiefs. 

He advised that the issues is being given a lot of discussion in the community and advocated.

“The suggestions and decision taken after the seminar was to send the decisions to Igwe and Igwe- in- council that women should be given more voice in the society starting from kindred to umuada interventions and up to going to Igwe to intercede.

The programme Director, disclosed that the posters produced by HCSS on ways to encourage, empower women was used to give them information on right ways. Right issues and demanding justice, economy and political rights when needed.

“They learn about the types of abuses and prevention including right to access justice when violence is involved.

“Public enlightenment, awareness creation, capacity building on identification of women’s Right will form the method of impacting the knowledge.

“Reminders to the committees formed and of their roles and their mandate was made made known to all again and they should use the committees and Igwe’s council.

“The victims should act quickly to preserve and show evidence to the hospital and police quickly that is why the committees were formed to help facilitate the procedures to getting redress. 

“It is important  to use the committees and always seek redress so that the perpetrators should not go unpunished.

“Knowledge of right issues asserting their rights and demanding for justice and economic empowerment will unlock the potentials of the girls not to keep silence. 

“Igwe Ogbuke strongly reprimanded the committee’s inaction. They were mandated and so should act and on meeting challenges should refer to him and his cabinet as in the terms of their MOU to look into cases like this where the evidence is left to be handled and preserved and perpetrators brought to book and not allow them go scout free and bragging about their actions and ready to do more.

“WEPBI and HCSS ED helpline phone numbers  were shared so that they could be helped to get some proper advises in seeking restraining order to custody settlement for their children and pursuing SBGV cases.

Also, “Child marriages for any reasons – teenage pregnancy, parents desire to raise money or loan must be stopped 


Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=90420

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