CHRAJ holds gender rights forum in zongo communities

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Accra, Aug. 17, GNA— The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has held a gender sensitization programme for leaders of some Zongo communities in Accra.

The two-day programme, organised in collaboration with the National Council of Zongo Chiefs, sought to empower participants with relevant human rights information and the need to appreciate gender rights.

The programme, held under the theme: ‘Dignity of Women and the Girl Child’, involved various stakeholders including chiefs, Imams, Ulamas, ‘Magajias’ (queen mothers) as well as youth leaders.

Participants were educated on the fundamental human rights and freedoms from the Muslim perspective, children’s right and parental responsibilities, as well as harmful cultural and traditional practices against women and girls, among others.

Mr Richard Quayson, the Deputy Commissioner of CHRAJ, said the Commission has embarked on numerous community outreach programmes in the past to ensure the reduction of gender and human rights violations.

He said in 2018, about 910 individuals drawn from various groups benefitted from its early and forced marriage sensitization programme adding that this led to a proposal from the National Council of Zongo Chiefs to replicate the programme in all Zongo communities”.

He said the programme would be extended to other communities within the capital to ensure that the fundamental human rights, especially of women and children were respected.

Mr Quayson urged communities to abolish all customary practices that dehumanized and were injurious to the physical and mental wellbeing of members.

Delivering a presentation on Harmful Cultural and Traditional Practices against Muslim Women and Girls; Early and Forced Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation, Mrs Yamfua Amua-Sakyi, Director, Public Education at CHRAJ, said about 34,000 girls marry annually in the country.

This, she said, was due to some societal customs and beliefs on early marriage, fear of stigmatization and poverty among others.

She called on parents to prioritise the education of their children, especially girls in order to ensure equality and empower them with skills for gainful employment.

Chief Moro Baba Issah, the Public Relations Officer for the National Council of Zongo Chiefs, said the Council decided to collaborate with CHRAJ due to gender and other human rights challenges in the communities.

He said even though the concern was not peculiar to the Zongo community, it was rampant, hence the need for attention.

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