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18.05.2005 Regional News

Upper West Region to ban all traditional practices inimical to progress

By GNA

Wa, May 18, GNA - Mr Ambrose Dery, Upper West Regional Minister, has condemned the traditional practice of preventing women from acquiring property in most parts of the Region, saying it is illegal and criminal.

He said plans were far afoot to abolish cultural practices that were inimical to the development of the region. Mr Dery was speaking at the inauguration of the Women and Juvenile Unit (WAJU) of the Police Service in Wa. The Regional Minister listed some of the outmoded practices as girl elopement, female genital mutilation, widowhood rites and inheritance. "How can women be struggling to acquire a few items to feed the entire family and yet are barred from possessing property?" he asked, saying it is the practice should be referred to the legal authorities for redress.

Mr Dery also inaugurated four desks of the Unit for Nadowli, Jirapa, Tumu and Lawra.

Mr Reynolds Kwakye, Regional Police commander announced that a total of 656 cases were reported to WAJU since 2001 out of which majority of them were amicably settled. He expressed the hope that the creation of four new desks would reduce the high rate of violence against women, rape and defilement. Mr Kweku Koranteng, programme Manger of ACTION-AID said his outfit had embarked on a five-year plan to reduce the high rate of violence against women in the region.

Madam Elizabeth Dassah, the Commander of WAJU said since the unit was created, it has handled over 40,000 cases.

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