Traditional rulers in Abia State have pledged support for women’s/girls’ rights across the state, saying they are committed to the implementation of the Supreme Court judgment on women’s right to inheritance in Igbo land.
This was contained in a 10-point communiqué issued in Umuahia on Friday after a one-day multi-stakeholder strategic conference comprising traditional rulers and WomenAid Collective, in partnership with the Ford Foundation.
The event was also supported by the Ministries of Justice, Women Affairs, and the 50/50 Action Women of Abia State.
The 10 point communiqué, signed by the chairman, Abia State Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Joseph Nwabeke, states:
“That we condemn all forms of violence against women and girls in Abia State and commit to their empowerment.
“That we make commitments towards actions to codify community bye-laws and regulations in tandem with extant laws that will protect women and girls which will include rejection of harmful traditional widowhood practices.
“That we are committed to eliminating harmful traditional practices eg, early child forced marriage, female genital mutilation (FGM) which leads to high cases of VVF and harmful to the reproductive of the woman.
“That we are committed to respecting the rights of widows and widowers.
“That we are in support of ensuring equal opportunity to male and female children, especially in ending discrimination in education.
“That we are committed to implementing the Supreme Court judgment in Ukeje V Ukeje, that females have a right as next of kin and entitled to inherit and own properties from the family estate, whether married or not.
“That we support the inclusion of women in leadership at all levels and in decision-making in all matters affecting them.
“That we are committed in mediating in human rights and women’s rights cases in line with state, national, regional and international human rights laws.
“That we commit to allow female headed homes farmers access to land and cultivating of crops to ensure food security and livelihoods sustainability.
“That we commit to enhance security for women farmers who are perennial victims of communal conflict and herdsmen/farmers conflict.”