ANAMBRA Traditional Rulers Council has condemned all forms of violence against women and girls.
The traditional rulers made their stand known at a Stakeholders Strategic Conference between traditional rulers and the Women Aid Collective (WACOL), in partnership with Ford Foundation, West African, supported by the Ministry of Local Government, Chieftaincy and Community Affairs and the Anambra State Chapter of the 50/50 Action Women, held in Awka.
In a communique issued after the conference, the traditional rulers expressed commitment towards eliminating harmful traditional practices against women such as widowhood practices, denial of inheritance, forced girl-child marriage, harmful rituals, exploitation and trafficking of women and girls as well as other degrading treatment and practices.
The royal fathers also expressed committed towards respecting the rights of women and girl-child as stipulated in the state, national and international laws.
They supported the inclusion of women in taking decisions in matters affecting them such as leadership of traditional institutions, and government at all levels.
The traditional rulers further spoke on mediating and reporting women’s rights violation cases in line with state, regional, national and international human rights legal frame works among others.
In their separate speeches, the traditional ruler of Okpuno, Igwe Sunday Okafor, Igwe Christopher Okpala of Akwaeze, Igwe Aloysius Moughalu of Isuofia and his Enugwu Umuoyia counterpart, Igwe Peter Ezeamama, appreciated the initiator, Prof Joy Ezeilo for championing the cause of women.
They expressed dismay at the attitude of some parents who do not send their daughters to school.
On his part, the Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy and Community Affairs, Mr Collins Nwabunwanne, remarked that Governor Chukwuma Soludo’s administration has zero tolerance for violence against women, and called for inclusion of teaching the ills associated with violence against women in schools, aimed at educating the male children to treat the girl child with passion and care.
Contributing, the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs Ify Obinabo, commended the present administration in the state for establishing the family court to try offenders.
She also frowned at the situation where women abuse fellow women and harped on the need to always give the girl-child listening hear.
The commissioner also called for serious sensitisation and re-orientation of people to shun violence against women.
The founder, Professor Ezeilo and the Resource persons, including Professor Ogugua Ikpeze, Professor Ofonze Amucheazi and Professor Stella Okunna among others educated the participants on how violence can negatively affect women physically , mentally, economically and sexually.