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Has the man who promised to marry you reneged on his promise and jettison you for another woman? Well, the good news is that you are entitled to claim compensation for breach of promise.

The Executive Director of the Human Rights Advocacy Centre in Ghana and renowned lawyer, Nana Oye Lithur has encouraged women who have been promised by their male partners of marriage and later break the promise to muster courage to take legal action against the said partners for damages for breach of promise. She noted that a lot of women have entered into relationships and have been treated unfairly by their partners who leave them to marry other women after several years of commitment. She observed that society is producing a number of single mothers because the fathers of their children failed to honour their promise of marriage.

Nana Oye Lithur was speaking at a sensitization programme on women’s sexual and reproductive rights at Zenu near Ashaiman in the Greater Accra region of Ghana. It was organized by the Human Right Advocacy Centre and the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana, PPAG on the theme: “Know Your Rights”.
Women empowerment continue to be a sizzling subject matter across the globe as women advocates on various platforms try to lay claims to their rights to decision making processes and leadership positions right from the home to the national governance system albeit with less successes on various fronts. Indeed it is pertinent to allude to the fact that there has been great improvement in some areas as far as women issues are concerned after the famous Beijing Conference. One can talked of the increase in the number of women Presidents in the world today.

However, for the women of Ashaiman and Zenu at this point in time their eyes are not on the macro issues of governance but the micro issues about their sexualities and birth related matters that rob them off their lives and that of their babies at birth. They are also concerned about how to ensure sweet relationships with their spouses to ensure peace of mind at home. The programme which was attended by women and youth groups from Zenu and Ashaiman aimed at educating the women on their reproductive rights and how to ensure peace in their homes.

According to Nana Oye Lithur women have the right to refuse sex advances from their husbands, explaining that intercourse is not by force but should be a mutual agreement. She asked the women to impress upon their husbands to perform their marriage rites and have their marriages registered to avoid problems in future.

The Executive Director of the Human Right Advocacy Centre, also encouraged the women to report defilement and rape cases in their communities to the law enforcement agencies especially the Domestic Violence and Victim support Unit of the police service to ensure that perpetrators are punished according to the law. She called for the establishment of a child support agency in the country to assist women whose husbands shirk responsibilities towards their children. This, she said if implemented could help address streetism. Nana Oye Lithur also appealed to commercial drivers to assist women in labour to get to health posts on time to help curb birth related mortalities.

A Reproductive Health Nurse with the PPAG, Abigail Ogunro-Yorke advised women to use Family Planning Methods to space their births and to prevent unwanted pregnancies. She said the various forms of Family Planning Methods are safe and entreated the women to discard the misconceptions they have about the Family Planning Methods.

The PPAG Advocacy Coordinator, Nana Ama Sam appealed to the government to include Family Planning medicines and methods in the National Health Insurance Scheme to enable women who cannot afford to pay for the methods to have access to them. This, she explained will enable women take charge of their reproductive lives thereby contributing to population control. There were demonstrations on how to use the male and female condoms and a stage show on maternal mortality and spousal rights as well as gender based violence highlighting rape and defilement.

by Correspondent Dominic Hlordzi.
(The pix in the story are not mine.)

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