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Enugu Monarchs Ban Obnoxious Girl-Child Marriage, Disinheritance Of Widows

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The Enugu State Traditional Rulers Council has condemned all forms of violence against women and the girl child and is committed to their empowerment in the state.

In a communique issued at the end of a multi stakeholders’ strategic conference between the council and WomenAid Collective, the monarchs outlawed girl-child marriage and other forms of gender-based harmful practices in the state.

The conference was organised in partnership with the Ford Foundation with support from Enugu State Ministries of Gender Affairs, Chieftaincy Matters and Justice and the 50/50 Action Women of the state.

The communique, signed by the Chairman of the council, Igwe Lawrence Agubuzu, stated that the council was committed to the abolition of the obnoxious practice of sacrificing the girl child to shrines.

The council chairman disclosed that the council was committed to the abrogation of harmful traditional widowhood practices, including disinheritance of widows.

His words, “We are committed to implementing the Supreme Court judgment that females have a right to inherit property from the family estate, whether married or not.

“We are also committed to actions to codify communal laws and regulations that will protect women and girls,” Agubuzu said.

The royal father said the council supported the inclusion of women in the process of decision making on issues that affect them, adding that the council encouraged the inclusion of women in community leadership.

He said the traditional institution would, henceforth, mediate in human and women’s rights cases, in line with state, national, regional and international human rights laws.

Agubuzu said the council had begun to sensitise residents of the state to do away with anti-human customs that still existed in Southern Nigeria.

“Subsequently, we will have an Enugu State that is free from all forms of violence against women and girl child,” he said.