A durbar was held at Donkorkrom in the Asutifi District in the Brong-Ahafo Region on Thursday to celebrate the abolition of a taboo that forbade women from giving birth in the community.
The initiative organised by Action Aid Ghana was on the theme: “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights”.
The elders of Donkorkrom established about 50 years ago, had prohibited women from giving birth in the community, and those who mistakenly gave birth had to sacrifice a sheep or undergo some rituals.
Thus pregnant women had to walk to Hwediem for ante-natal care and to give birth and as there was no reliable means of transport, they were carried by men or on bicycles to receive care or had to deliver in the bush.
Ms Christina Amarchey, Brong Ahafo Regional Programme Manager of Action Aid, called for the abolition of all traditional and cultural practices that are harmful to women in the society.
She said cultural practices that delivered such excruciating physical pain and subjected women to humiliation must cease.
Ms Amarchey said any existing harmful traditional and cultural practice maintained the subordination of women in society and perpetuated gender based violence and called for the need to identify the neglect of women’s rights as a violation of human rights.
She said even though some cultural practices were good, the 1992 Constitution forbade all customary practices which were inimical to the physical and mental well-being of every citizen.
Ms Amarchey said in spite of all the legal provisions to outlaw harmful traditional practices the situation still persisted due to the lack of capacity, resources and commitments among implementers of such provisions.
She said research shows that such unfortunate practices still continues in some parts of the country and called on traditional authorities and interested stakeholders to take up the issues with the Regional Houses of Chiefs and the Regional Queen mother’s associations to eliminate such practices.
Ms Amarchey expressed appreciation to the traditional authorities for accepting to perform the necessary rituals to end the existing taboo.
Mr Eric Addai, Asutifi District Chief Executive, appealed to the general public to refrain from rumours that could create tensions in the country and help ensure a free and fair election.
Nana Kofi Yeboah, Chief Linguist of Kenyasi Number One Traditional Area, appealed to the youth not to allow themselves to be used by politicians to create violence but endeavour to ensure peace in all their activities.