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11.06.2004 Regional News

C/R Queen mothers to reduce HIV/AIDS prevalence by 15 per cent in 2006

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Cape Coast, June 11, GNA - Queen Mothers in the Central region on Friday resolved to adopt a holistic approach to reduce the HIV/AIDS prevalence in the Central region by 15 per cent by the end of December 2006.

They further stated that the Regional Traditional Council in collaboration with the Regional Coordinating Council would enact by-laws to ban the youth below 20 years from attending wake-keepings, music played at funerals should end by 1800 hours and "Meet-Me-There" and beaches carnivals during festivals must also be banned. The Queen mothers made this known in a 10 point resolution at the end of a five-day 'HIV/AIDS counselling workshop for queen mothers in the Central region, under the theme "The Role of Queen Mothers in HIV/AIDS Counselling".

The workshop, which was organised by Life Relief Foundation in collaboration with UN Gender System Programme, was to equip the queen mothers with skills on HIV/AIDS counselling.

The queen mothers suggested that puberty rites should be re-introduced in a refined form, of which children aged 10-18 years would be guided, educated and counselled on moral and religious education, personal hygiene and home keeping.

They also asked that legal action must be taken against men who impregnate schools girls and that parents and guardians who condone and connive with men who rape or impregnate girls should be brought to book and that parents should not send their children outside their homes after 1900 hours.

The queen mothers asked that the criminal code should be reviewed to cover boys who are sodomised and that laws on domestic violence and gender based violence should be strictly enforced in the region to help reduce the high incidence of sexual abuse and harassment and other forms of sexual abuses. 11 June 04

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