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Monarchs Partner WACOL, Stakeholders Against Harmful Traditional Practices In Anambra

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Obi of Onitsha, His Royal Majesty, (HRM) Alfred Achebe, led Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council, has expressed its readiness to collaborate with famous Non- governmental organization, (NGO), WomenAid Collective (WACOL), and other Stakeholders in waging war against all forms of harmful and degrading traditional practices against Women in the state.

Some of such uncivilized and anti -Women actions the Monarchs noted, includes, Widowhood practices, denial of inheritance, forcing of the girl child into early marriage amongst others.

The Council, stated this Weekend in Awka, the Anambra State capital, during a Multi Stakeholders Strategic Conference between the State Traditional Rulers Council and (WACOL), put together by the NGO, in partnership with the Ford Foundation West Africa, support Ministries of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Justice, Women Affairs and the 50/50 Action Women of Anambra State.

African Examiner reports that the conference aimed at eliminating violence against Women and girls was attended by the State Commissioners for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Lands, Women Affairs, and the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice.

Also in attendance, were Monarchs, across the three senatorial districts under the umbrella of the Anambra state Council of Traditional Rulers, women and civil society organizations, as well as the media.

The Traditional Rulers in a Communiqué issued at the end of the conference said “we condemn all forms of Violence against Women and Girls, including harmful practices and social norms in Anambra State, and commit to the empowerment of Women and Girls.

“That we are committed to eliminating harmful traditional practices such as widowhood practices; denial of inheritance, forced and girl child marriage, harmful rituals, exploitation and trafficking of women and girls, including degrading treatment and practices

The document which was adopted by the Council, and signed by its Secretary, Chief Orjika Donatus added “that we are committed to respecting the rights of women and girls as recognized in the state, national and international laws

“That we make a commitment towards actions to codify communal laws and regulations that will protect women and girls which include rejection of harmful traditional widowhood practices, including disinheritance of widows

According to the Communiqué, “that we are committed to respecting the rights of widows and widowers , we are committed to implementing the Supreme Court judgment that females have a right to inherit property from the family estate whether married or not

The Royal father’s, further stated that “we support the inclusion of women in decisions affecting them, That we are willing to consider the inclusion of women in the leadership of traditional institutions

“That we encourage women’s leadership at the community level, and that we are committed to mediating and reporting women’s rights cases in line with state, national, regional, and international human rights legal frameworks.

However, Chairman of the Council, (HRM), Achebe, who was unavoidably absent at the meeting, has also endorsed the conference Communiqué.

“Subsequently, we will have an Anambra state that is free from all forms of violence against women and girls.

In her welcome remark to the participants, Professor Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, Founding Director, (WACOL), stated that the importance of the conference was to change the norms and practices that promote violence against women and girls in Anambra State.

She explained the vision of WACOL which is to create a democratic society free from violence and abuse where the human rights of women and young people are protected in law and practice.

Prof. Ezeilo, disclosed that the Organization operates throughout Nigeria and in the west African sub region, adding that it’s offices in Nigeria are located in Eight states, namely Enugu, Imo, Anambra, Rivers, Katsina, Ebonyi, Abia States and the FCT– Abuja and a staff on ground in Benin, Edo state.

She said: “WACOL in partnership with Ford Foundation aim to transform traditional institutions and advance women’s rights to eliminate discrimination and violence against women and girls.

According to her, the stakeholders and beneficiaries of the conference includes, Members of Council of Traditional rulers, Town Union Leaders, Women groups, Youth groups, Religious leaders, Government agencies, women’s right groups, magistrates and customary court judges and women and girls.

She further explained that the meeting objectives were to strengthen the understanding of participants on how the norms and practices are classified under acts of Violence Against Women and girls (VAWG) in Anambra state.

“Also to review the negative cultural norms and practices and adopt practical ways of eliminating them. And finally, to issue a communiqué that is in support of ending VAWG in Anambra state, commending the Monarchs other participants.

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=80327

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