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Monarchs, Stakeholders, Decry High Rate Of Violence Against Women, Girls In Enugu

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Traditional Rulers and other Stakeholders in Enugu State, have decried the high rate of gender based violence in the contemporary Society, calling on all and Sundry to join hands with them and relevant groups such as Non- governmental organization, (NGO), WomenAid Collective (WACOL), in eliminating the menace in the State.

The Monarchs, also agreed to partner with relevant bodies to say no to all forms of harmful and degrading cultural practices that promotes violence against Women in their respective domains and state in general.

Some of such anti Women cultural practices they noted are, denial of inheritance, forcing of the girl child into early, amongst others.
They stated this yesterday during a one day Community Town Hall Stakeholders Meeting to change norms and practices that promotes violence against Women and Girls in Enugu State, organized by WACOL, and Fifty Action Women, in Collaboration with Ford Foundation.

Speaking at the event, the Traditional Ruler of Obige- Obukpa, in Nsukka Council area of the State, Igwe Barrister Raphael Ezeh, expressed deep concern over the inhuman treatment being meted against Women and girls in some Communities in the name of culture.

The national Father, who applauded WACOL for remaining a driving force on issues bothering Women and the girl child, said as a Traditional Ruler, he does not support actions that discriminates, or causes pain on Women, urging his colleagues to always join forces in eliminating all manner of harmful cultural practices against Women in their respective domains.

According to Igwe Ezeh, as a traditional ruler, he Condemns in its entirety, all forms of Violence against Women and Girls, including harmful practices and social norms in the State, stressing that Women deserves to be treated with dignity.

In his remark, Chairman, Igwe in Council, Enugu East Senatorial district of the State, Igwe Edeani, said as Monarchs, they are committed to eliminating harmful traditional practices in the State.

Other participants who spoke at the town hall meeting, including Wife of Enugu South Local government Chairman, Barrister Stella Nkwuo and a Clergy man, Pastor Rufus Ekezie, all stressed the need to have an Enugu State free from all forms of violence against women and girls.

Addressing newsmen at the end of the programme, Head of Communications, WACOL, Mrs Egodi Igwe, explained that the “main goal of this town hall meeting today is to dialogue with the critical Stakeholders with a view to chatting the way forward towards finding solution to the issue of gender based violence in Enugu state.

“How do we stop this ugly menace? WACOL, is partnering with an international Organization called Ford Foundation on a project that is targeted at eliminating Harmful cultural practices that promotes Violence against Women in the society, including Enugu State

According to Igwe, “we are talking of those traditional norms that have been existing in the Society, that we have accepted as a way of life, but in the other way round, they have been affecting the women negatively as a result of the ways they are being practiced, So, that is what this project is all about.

Said the WACOL Spokesperson: “So, it is our hope and belief that at the end of the project we will review those existing laws, and put in place bye laws that Communities can call their constitution, and such laws will be codified and implemented in those areas, and they will also be gender friendly rather, than what we have today and practiced that are very gender biased

However,” “like I said earlier, today’s gathering is a town hall meeting with critical Stakeholders. Amongst them are religious, traditional Rulers, Women and youth groups, Community leaders, people from the judiciary.

“We invited them so as to interact with them with a view to finding solution to this menace of violence against Women, because as Stakeholders, they have critical role to play in ending this problem. Like you know, Traditional Rulers have powers to change certain harmful traditional practices against Women as custodians of the people’s culture so as to suit the present day Society.

“So, what we are saying is that in as much as some of these obnoxious traditional cultures are there, they can be changed, so as to suit the present day reality, as well as create room for inclusiveness, and enable us bring out the best in our Women, and make them participate in the development of the Society.

“Because as it stands today in our society, due to certain obnoxious laws, the system excludes and relegates our Women to the background, they are now not recognized the way they ought to.

“WACOL in partnership with Ford Foundation aims to transform traditional institutions and advance women’s rights to eliminate discrimination and violence against women and girls” Mrs Igwe stated

Highlights of the event was the presentation of two different papers, by Resource Persons, Barrister Mrs. Peace Uju Okeke, and Dr. Charles Ezeh, of the University of Nigeria Nsukka UNN.

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=80746

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