Anthony Apubeo, GNA
Bolgatanga, May 15, GNA – The Women and Orphans Movement (WOM), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) has held a dialogue with media practitioners in Bolgatanga to device strategies to help modify dehumanising widowhood rites practised in the Upper East Region.
The meeting offered the journalists the opportunity to propose ways and strategies to empower the youth in advocacy in various communities in three selected districts, including; the Bolgatanga Municipality, Talensi and Nabdam Districts all in the Upper East Region.
The advocacy programme, which is sponsored by Action Aid Ghana, an NGO, intends to train about 40 selected youth from the three districts who would act as leaders among their peers in their respective communities to identify and report on widowhood rites that are dehumanising.
Madam Fati Abigail Abdulai, the Executive Director of WOM indicated that her outfit was not against widowhood rites in general, but was concerned about the practices or aspects of the rites that were harmful to human dignity.
She mentioned practices such as bathing widows in public, pouring hot water on them, forcing them to drink concoction to determine whether they were witches among others, and said these practices were against their basic human rights and made them lose confidence, feel discriminated against and feel isolated in society.
“The Widows and Orphans Movement and Action Aid Ghana over the years have made great strides in modifying and ending some dehumanising widowhood rites, but there is more to be done and the youth and the media could play crucial roles by supporting in the sensitisation process.” The Executive Director stated.
She indicated that the expertise media practitioners had could assist in training the youth to work as primary data collectors at the community level on current practices and proposed creative and innovative ways in tackling the menace in their respective districts.