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20.12.2005 Regional News

NGO urges abolition of outmoded cultural practices

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Nyariga (U/ER), Dec. 20, GNA - Traditional and opinion leaders were on Tuesday urged to help abolish or modernize certain traditional and cultural practices that are hindering development.

Youth Alive, a non-governmental organization in the Upper East Region that is into building the "Youth for the Future" made the call during a two-day sensitisation workshop organised for traditional and opinion leaders at Nyariga and Yekiner, near Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region.

The Project Co-ordinator of Youth Alive, Mr Robert Alagskoma, who made the call, mentioned some of the outmoded cultural practices as forced and early marriages, female genital mutilation, and widowhood rites.

He condemned the practice of widowhood rites where a late husband's wife was made to undergo certain initiatives such as stripping naked in public, saying this was dehumanising and a violation of human rights. Mr Alagskoma expressed dissatisfaction about the cultural practice where unmarried females from a particular clan who by tradition could not marry men from the same clan were allowed to have sexual affairs with them and indicated that the children from such unions ended up being neglected.

Mr Alagskoma, enjoined traditional rulers and opinion leaders as agents of change to use their wisdom and authority to either abolish or modernise inimical cultural practices in their communities to pave the way for development. The Deputy Regional Di rector of the National Commission For Civic Education, Mr Mike Fuoh, said under the Constitution of Ghana, it was wrong for a parent to deny his child education. He entreated parents to give birth to fewer children to enable them to take good care of them.

The sensitisation workshop on the theme: "Outmoded Cultural Practices and Irresponsible Parenting, their effects on Streetism in the Bolgatanga Municipality" was organised by Youth Alive and sponsored by World Vision International.

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