Paralegals call on Government and NGOs to support WLHIVs to pursue legal redress
6/15/2012 3:30:32 PM -
Ho, June 15, GNA - Government and Non-Governmental Organizations working for Women Living with HIV and AIDS (WLHIV) have been called upon to channel financial resources into helping such women to pursue their rights to inherit property.
The suggestion was made at a Policy Dialogue Meeting organized by the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Ghana, for Paralegals in Ho to discuss the findings of a study conducted in Sunyani, Agormenya and Ho.
The Paralegals also called on Chiefs to institute sanctions against those who stigmatize and discriminate against WLHIV including their right to inherit property.
They called on government to channel more resources to support state institutions which provide social and legal support to WLHIV.
They also called on NGOs working for WLHIV to seek sponsorship from profit making institutions in support of WLHIV.
The study looked at local perceptions and trends regarding property related practices and structural inequalities, as well as challenges hindering WLHIV from accessing property and inheritance.
It found out that WLHIV would rather not pursue their rights to property inheritance so as to avoid humiliation in the pursuit of those rights.
The study indicated that WLHIV were 'unwilling to go to court for their claims over property, for fear of spiritual reprisal from family members and other disputing parties.'
It found out that misconceptions about Human Rights Institutions and the laws protecting PLHIVs in general are potential structural barriers limiting the chances of WLHIV to pursue their rights to property and inheritance.
It said the policy of the Ghana Health Service not to disclose the HIV status of victims allowed many PLHIV to conceal their status, thereby circumventing challenges including the denial of rights.
The study recommended the need to identify and target women who, given the necessary support, would not be afraid to pursue legal action to secure their property and inheritance rights.