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09.11.2005 Crime & Punishment

Domestic Violence bill will help weed out outmoded customs - Tackie

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Wechiau(UWR), Nov.09, GNA - Mr. Henry Tackie, an official of the Attorney-General's Department on Tuesday said enactment of the Domestic violence bill would help eliminate some outmoded cultural practices that were inimical to national development.

He said some of the practices were, witchcraft against women in some communities within the Northern region and Trokosi among some communities in the Volta region.

Mr. Tackie made the observation at a day's seminar on the bill organized by the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs at Wechiau in the Wa West District.

The Danish International Development Assistance (DANIDA) sponsored the seminar attended by chiefs, women groups and the youth. Mr. Tackie said contrary to rumours that enactment of the bill would be an avenue for break up in marriages it would rather make marriages succeed when properly adhered to.

"The bill is not coming to destroy marriages, but to bring love, concern and mutual understanding in families than before and to prepare families for better future development." He added. Mr. Elvis Sandongo, Chief Inspector of Police, speaking on the role of individuals and communities in the bill, appealed to chiefs to accept it and contribute to its enactment. "The law would restrict many people from engaging in acts that would criminalize them and reduce the burden on chiefs to solve family matters daily in their communities," He said. Police Chief Inspector Sandongo said elimination of outmoded practices would depend on the manner chiefs react to the enactment of the law.

Mr. Joseph Boakye Danquah, Deputy Minister of Women and Children's Affairs, said the Ministry was seeking views of Ghanaians on the bill to reflect the freedom of speech in the country. He appealed to religious leaders to educate their congregation on the bill because it affected women and children. Mr. George Hikah Benson, Deputy Upper West Regional Minister called on women who had received loans from the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy to repay them for others to benefit from the facility.