Mad. Owusu-Banahene (middle) with some of the widows
Mad. Owusu-Banahene (middle) with some of the widows

Security and law enforcement agencies have been urged to collaborate with other stakeholders to stop the outmoded traditional practices that are inimical to the well-being, progress, and development of women in society.

Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister, who made the call, regretted that harmful and outmoded traditional practices such as widowhood rites worsened the plight of widows and put many women into traumatic conditions.

She said widowhood rites remained the worst form of human rights abuse and cautioned chiefs and queens who forced women to go through such cruel situations in the name of tradition and culture to stop the practice.

Mad Owusu-Banahene gave the advice when she distributed COVID-19 personal protection equipment comprising alcohol-based hand sanitizers, nose masks, and chocolates to about 250 widows to mark this year’s ‘Mother’s Day celebration’ in Sunyani.

The Regional Minister appealed to stakeholders such as assembly members, opinion leaders, and civil society actors to support and also collaborate with security agencies to identify and apprehend perpetrators of these traditional practices.

She explained women were great pillars in the nuclear and extended family settings, saying their enormous contributions to the upkeep of the family could not be over-emphasised.

“We cannot sit down unconcerned and allow widows to go through this inhumane treatment in the name of culture and tradition. Widowhood rite is a serious crime against humanity and we must all collaborate to identify and punish perpetrators”, Mad Owusu-Banahene stated.

She advised widows to come together and form associations to enable them to highlight their challenges and to attract support from the government and development partners to enhance their socio-economic livelihoods.

Mad Owusu-Banahene implored husbands to support their unemployed wives to engage in viable economic activities to enable them to contribute to the upkeep of their families.

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