The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is asking chiefs and traditional leaders in the country to consider discarding outdated traditional practices like widowhood rites that seek to undermine the fundamental rights of citizens.
The President was speaking at a meeting with the newly created Bono East Regional House of Chiefs as part of his tour of the Region where he referenced “practices that seek to discriminate between women and children.”
He further cited widowhood rights as one of the cultural practices which needed to be discarded.
“It is difficult again to find a justification for some of the widowhood rites that persist today among many of our people,” President Akufo-Addo said.
He thus urged the chiefs “to be at the forefront of fighting to discard these outmoded practices.”
Widowhood rites are generally considered negative cultural practices because of its association with the violation of the rights of women.
Such rites have been described as dehumanising and uncivilized by observers.
In some instances, widows are tortured, stripped naked, have their hairs shaved, forced to drink concoctions prepared with leaves, hairs and fingernails of their late husbands.
Assurances to traditional leaders
The President also assured all the Houses of Chiefs across the country that the government will continue to support the chieftaincy institution so it can be strong and resilient.
He also highlighted some recent infrastructure support to the new house of chiefs.
“Six new office complex and bungalows would be provided with the six new Regional Houses of Chiefs. Additionally, as I have said, we would strive to give to the institution the requisite support to resolve chieftaincy matters, and carry out research in the many areas of relevance to curb chieftaincy related conflicts,” he said.