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Polygamy is Deep - Seated Cultural Practice

2005-12-15 20:30:08
This article has been read 993 times.

The Northern Regional Population Officer, Mr Alhassan Amadu, has attributed the growing incidence of polygamy in the area to deep-seated socio-cultural practices.

Coupled with this is the misinterpretation of religious doctrines by some people to the effect that, by giving birth to many children, one was fulfilling a religious obligation.

Mr Amadu observed that the prevailing poverty and illiteracy in the region could be traced to the of the negative effects of polygamy as most of the parents in such marriages were poor, and could not cater adequately for their children.

The officer who stated this in Tamale, also intimated that the Northern Region currently had a fertility and population growth rates of 7.0 and 2.8 per cent respectively as against the national rate of 4.4 and 2.7 per cent.

He added that, the dependency ratio in the area was 103 per cent.

Mr Amadu was speaking at the Northern Region stakeholders’ consultation workshop for the development of the 5th Country Programme of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Tamale.

The $25.3 million programme would commence in January next year and end in 2010. The main focus of the programme would be in reproductive health, population and development and gender issues in the Central, Volta, Northern, Upper West and Upper East regions.

According to Mr Amadu, religion, particularly Islam, abhors irresponsibility and, therefore, enjoined all Muslims to live above reproach by being socially and morally upright at all times because on the Judgement Day, one would give an account of how well he or she took care of the family.

He also expressed concern over the increasing number of beggars on the streets and alleys in the Tamale metropolis pointing out that, “it is certainly not right to use disability as a cover to beg.”

Mr Amadu stated that even though awareness on the HIV/AIDS disease was now high, people were yet to accept the reality on the ground and change their sex behaviours.

He, therefore, called on HIV/AIDS campaigners in the country to redesign their messages to make it more meaningful and acceptable in changing peoples’ perception and attitude towards sex.

The National Programme Associate of the UNFPA, Mr Thomas N Wobill, revealed that contraceptive use among adolescents in the country was 6.4 percent with an unmet need of 50 percent.

He added that, HIV prevalence rose from 2.3 per cent in 2000 to 3.6 per cent in 2003, dropping slightly to 3.1 per cent in 2004. While the female-male ratio of HIV infected persons, which was 6:1 in 1987, was now 2:1.

The Assistant Country Representative of the UNFPA in Ghana, Mr Emmanuel Tofoatsi, explained that the workshop was aimed at soliciting views from the various stakeholders to fashion out the programme to address the needs of the people.

“We need to understand the socio-cultural dynamics of the beneficiary communities to guide us in coming out with initiatives that would be more acceptable and practicable to the people,” he stated.

source; graphic

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