The Executive Director of the Ark Foundation, Angela Dwamena Aboagye, has called on government to rescue a widow living in Abam in the Eastern region who is facing banishment for refusing to undergo widowhood rites.
She said the government should not see the maltreatment against the woman as just an act related to widowhood rites but rather it should question the nature of the rites.
According to her, this is one of the gender-based discrimination and violence targeted at women in the country because “they are voiceless of the society.”
Dwamena called on the leadership of the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU), and the Department of Social Welfare in the region to attend to the woman so that she is not forced to go through the process.
She also advised the National House of Chiefs to put up a campaign aimed at educating the chiefs of “about our Republican constitution, [and] about the provisions in our constitution.”
On March 7, Joy News reported that a widow in Abam risked being banished Tuesday following her refusal to undergo widowhood rites prescribed by the chief of the land.
It is a practice in some communities in Ghana for women to go through widowhood rites following the death of their husband.
Many of these women find themselves abandoned by their families when they are going through the ceremony which, according to local beliefs ensure their dead husbands’ safe passage to the afterlife.
However, Angela said the nation has come of age for such practices to be permitted.
She said the woman did the right thing by refusing to go through the ceremony and called on the government to ensure her safety in the community.