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Regional News Mon, 25 Nov 2002

Parliamentary Select Committee addresses durbar

Bawku (Upper East Region) - The Parliamentary Select Committee on Gender and Children represented by six of its 25 members last Thursday, addressed a durbar of the Chiefs and people of Bawku Traditional Area in the Upper East Region.

The Committee, which was on a working visit to the Bawku East District spoke on issues including female genital mutilation, (FGM), widowhood rites, child trafficking, rights of children in conflict areas and child slavery.

Mrs. Angelina Baiden-Amissah, Chairperson of the Committee and MP for the Shama-Ahanta, said the liberation of women and children from negative cultural practices was a responsibility of all.

She regretted that despite the enactment of laws to deal with the perpetrators of these negative practices, which constituted violation of the rights of women and children, they were still rife in the country.

The MP called on the chiefs, opinion leaders, assembly members and other stakeholders to assist in combating them by exposing people involved in human rights abuses for prosecution.

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Mrs Cecilia Gyan-Amoah, Vice Chairperson of the Committee and MP for Asutifi South, assured the people that by the end of January next year, district offices of the Ministry Of Women and Children Affairs would be established in all 110 districts to deal with issues affecting women and children.

She urged the communities to send their children to school to enable them contribute to the socio-economic development of the nation.

Mr Abdul Rahaman Gumah, District Chief Executive, commended the committee for taking time to travel to the area to address the durbar and appealed to the assembly members to enact bylaws to deal with perpetrators of FGM.

Naba Peter Amenga, Chief of Kpalweiga, a village near Bawku, said Chiefs in the traditional area had resolved that FGM should not be practiced.

Speaking on be behalf of the Paramount Chief, Naba Asigri Abugrado Azoka, II, he called on the district assembly to enact a bylaw banning the playing songs such as "burger hi-life" during funerals to curb the spread of AIDS and to reduce teenage pregnancy.

Source: gna
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