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18.08.2004 Regional News

Don't rush passing bill into law - Parliament told

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Kumasi, Aug. 18, GNA - Parliament has been advised not to rush to pass the Domestic Violence Bill into law to allow enough time for education and submission of various memoranda on it.

Odeneho Kwaku Appiah, immediate past President of the Youth In Action, a network of youth groups, who gave the advice, observed that the passage of the law without ample debate and incorporation of various suggestions may render it ineffective. He was speaking on "Christianity And The Rights Of Women" at a seminar organised by the Kwadaso Christian Youth Fellowship in Kumasi, on Wednesday.

It was designed to create a platform to educate and sensitise members of the Fellowship about the context and implications of the Bill.

Odeneho Appiah suggested that in collating memoranda and suggestions, serious consideration should be given to the views of both Christian and Islamic clerics to bring the Bill in consonance with the teachings of the two faiths.

He said this was vital because Christian and Islamic teachings demanded that women should be submissive to their husbands and for that matter any Bill that seemed to bring women at par with men, risked being rejected by the two faiths if their views were not fully sought. Odeneho Appiah noted that even though the focus of the Bill was to enhance the dignity of women and protect their rights, very little had been done by the advocates to create awareness and educate people about it.

Education on the Bill, he said had been confined mainly to the urban areas and elite groups, while those in rural communities still remained ignorant about what it actually stood for.

Odeneho Appiah reminded women advocates that while championing the course for a law to enhance the dignity and rights of women, they should also devise measures to check indecent and immorality especially among young girls.

Miss Doris Mensah, Leader of the Women's Wing of the Fellowship, appealed to men to co-operate with women by coming out with requisite suggestions that would help them come out with a law that would be acceptable to all. 18 Aug. 04

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