Female teachers attending a workshop on gender and domestic human rights abuse have identified women as worse violators of child rights, saying they are mostly responsible for inflicting physical and psychological pain on children.

They held that these situations are more evident in polygynous families where women treat the children of their rivals badly by denying them food and shelter and that in some cases, women inflict wounds on their domestic assistants for minor offences.

These were contained in a communiqué issued by the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) ladies at the close of a three-day workshop on “Domestic human rights abuse: Using female teachers as agents and guides”.

The workshop was organised by Life Rescue Mission (LRM), an NGO, to equip female teachers to sensitise their communities and assist other women to come out of domestic violence.

The German Embassy sponsored the workshop, which was held in Yendi.

The communiqué stated that women’s rights were also abused because they had no right to decide who should take care of their children and as a result the children suffer in the hands of their foster parents.

The participants also identified certain cultural practices that are inimical to the promotion of rights.

Such bad customs include the general acceptance that men could marry two sisters and the practice where first male born of a man is made the sole heir of a father’s property, including his wives apart from the biological mother.

The communiqué also noted that the Islamic religion allowed the male child to inherit 75 percent of the father’s property, leaving only 25 percent to the female child.

It noted that in the events of a husband’s death, the widow is chased out of the matrimonial home after performing certain rituals over a period of between five months and a year.

The communiqué therefore called on religious bodies, NGOs and all stakeholders to collaborate to sensitise the public on the need to respect women’s rights.

It urged women to appreciate the efforts of their fellow women domestically and at the national level and called for the representation of women in all sectors of the decision making process.

Mr. Daniel Borti, Executive Director of LRM, said in nearly 12,000 domestic violence cases recorded by the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DVVSU), women featured as the most victims.

He said his organisation would train queen mothers in twenty communities to sensitise families and communities against traditional and cultural practices, which violate the rights of women and girls.

In a speech read for him, Alhaji Mohammed Habib Tijani, Yendi District chief Executive, said there was still the practice of female genital mutilation in the region with girls aged between 12 and 19 as the victims.

Source: GNA


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