Posted by / Sunday 25 March 2018 / No comments

The reasons for abolishing widowhood rites in Ghana

Emotional, Woman, Female, Girl, People
Widowhood rites refer to the rituals and customs that are performed for a woman when her husband dies.

Violation of human rights
The woman is subjected to torture. She is made to go through physical and mental torture. She is denied food; limits are put on her freedom of speech, movement and association. The woman goes through pain, suffering, physical, mental and psychological torture, which is unbearable and infringes on human rights. All these are infringements on her rights.

Health risks
Widowhood rites affect the health of the widow. For example, the woman is made to sleep with the dead husband and swallow the saliva of the dead person pose serious health risks to the woman. In a situation where the dead person is infected with the disease like chicken pox, Tuberculosis (TB), Cerebro Spinal Meningitis (CSM), the woman is likely to be infected.

Psychological effects and death
The woman is psychologically affected. Sleeping with the dead person, abstaining from food, tying her hands and pulling her all put fear, shock emotional stress and mental torture on the woman and can lead to madness or death of the woman.

Dehumanizing and humiliating
The activities that are involved in widowhood rite dehumanize and humiliate the widows. Some of these dehumanizing acts are tying the hands of the widow with rope and pulling her, shaving her hair, making her walk bare footed, preventing her from shaking hands with people etc., dehumanize her.

It is discriminatory
The practice of widowhood rite discriminates against women. When a woman (wife) dies the man is not made to undergo the same treatment. So it is not fair for a woman to be treated in such dehumanizing manner.

Female labour reduced
During the rites the woman is not allowed to work. Even after the rites, it takes many months for a woman to start any business. This reduces human resource and at times leads to the loss of job, culminating into economic hardships.

The negative aspects of widowhood rites in Ghana

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