The Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council is partnering the Women Aid Collective (WACOL) to wage war against all forms of harmful and degrading traditional practices against women in the state.
The uncivilised and anti-women actions, which the women group is campaigning against include, degrading widowhood practices, denial of inheritance, forceful early marriage, harmful rituals such as genital mutilation, exploitation and trafficking of women and girls, among others.
A multi-stakeholders strategic conference of the Traditional Rulers Council, WACOL and others, held in Awka yesterday, condemned all forms of violence against women and girls, harmful practices and social norms in Anambra.
They assured of their commitment to eliminating these harmful traditional practices. A document, which was adopted by the council, and signed by the Chairman of Anambra Council of Traditional Rulers, HRH Nnaemeka Achebe, and the Secretary, Chief Orjika Donatus, reads: “We are committed to respecting the rights of women and girls as recognised in the state, national and international laws.
“We are committed to codifying communal laws and regulations that will protect women and girls, which include rejection of harmful traditional widowhood practices, including disinheritance of widows.
“We are committed to respecting the rights of widows and widowers, as well as implementing the Supreme Court judgment that women have a right to inherit property from the family estate, whether married or not.
“We support the inclusion of women in decisions affecting them. We are willing to consider the inclusion of women in the leadership of traditional institutions.”
In her address earlier, founding Director, WACOL, Prof. Joy Ezeilo, said the conference is aimed at changing norms and practices that promote violence against women and girls in Anambra.
She explained that the vision of WACOL is to create a democratic society free from violence and abuse where rights of women and young people are protected in law and practice.
She further explained that the objectives are to strengthen understanding of participants on how norms and practices are classified under acts of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) in the state.