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Gross Abuse of Women's Rights in North

2007-06-25 22:04:53
This article has been read 822 times.

INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATIONS by The Chronicle have revealed that majority of women in the Northern Region are being deprived of sex with their husbands after attaining their menopause. This is one of the numerous secret cultural practices in the Northern Region being practiced by both the traditional people and Muslims.

It was gathered from our investigations that the few women who try to break the odds and sneak into their husbands' rooms to have sexual intercourse with them, are mocked at and given different kinds of names by their in-laws. Not only are they described as witches and bitches but also as women who are addicted to sex.

In some communities, the women are sometimes subjected to serious beatings, insults and other forms of humiliation and harassment and are eventually chased out of their marital homes for alleged breaking of traditional norms or causing taboo.

However, those women who dare to have extra-marital affairs, are severely penalized for causing gross disrespect and disgrace to the man's family.

This has given too much power to the men and has also increased polygamous marriages in the Region.

Interestingly, one married man (name withheld) told this paper in an interview that most men are against this practice but are afraid to stand against it since it has been there for a very long time and had gained roots in both traditional and religious societies in the North. "Sometimes, we the men like to call the women into our rooms and sleep with them because we still love them but we are afraid and the women are also afraid to enter our rooms because they will be beaten or humiliated by their in-laws. So master, you must use your paper to inform the whole world about what is happening, and people are not talking about it. This is against human rights and the government must know about it. We have a lot of scholars and intellectuals here but they are all quiet about it because it favours them and they have the money to marry more than one or two wives".

One senior female Journalist in Tamale (name withheld) who is in her 50s, confirmed this report and hinted the paper that as a result of this practice, her husband, who had vowed not to have two wives, had now brought home another woman.

According to her, though she and the husband are all educated and are seriously against the practice, they have no option than to accept and practice it, since it is also practiced in their religion (Islam).

The Northern Regional Population Officer, Mr. Alhassan Issahaku Amadu who also confirmed this practice, described it as unfortunate and a direct violation of the rights of women in the Northern Region in particular.

He accentuated with deep regret that the Islamic Religion/doctrine was highly misinterpreted and the culture of the people misapplied in the Northern Region, saying, "There is serious confusion in Islam with regards to issues that are cultural and religious. Besides, education is not doing well to bring the desired change in behaviours of the people, because of the activities of adversaries (those who see positive things differently and succeed in influencing the youth to accept even the unacceptable).

Mr. Alhassan disclosed that, only 14% of women in Northern Region could read, speak and understand English language as against 34% of men as documented in the Ghana Demographic and Health Survey 2003.

According to the Population Officer, majority of the people especially the women are against this cultural and religious practice but did not know how to tackle it. He therefore called on Parliament to push this matter forward for discussion in the House so as to adopt ways of curtailing the practice.


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