Women are the pillars of our society - Osie Adza Tekpor VII

Osie Adza Tekpor VII, Paramount Chief of Avatime Traditional Area in the Volta Region says that society is made by women and nurtured by women. He said society’s happiness comes from women and no society can fully develop without the contributions of women and that any form of violence against their wellbeing cannot be condoned, he stated this when he was interacting with Esenam Amuzu of UNFPA Ghana as part of the 2020 activities to mark the 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence.

Osie Adza Tekpor VII, used the opportunity to commend all stakeholders including the UN who are working tirelessly to end violence in general and particularly against women as well as to ensure that the developments of women and girls are safeguarded. “We as Chiefs and Traditional Leaders have to continuously raise awareness and put systems in place to support and protect our women and girls. Half of Ghana’s population is made up of women and if we keep abusing them, then we have no future as a country” the Osie emphasized.

Highlighting what he was doing to end sexual and gender-based violence in his traditional area, Osie noted that the Avatime Traditional Council has a remarkable female representation. He said the Queens have equal opportunities in all their undertakings including decision making powers at meetings. The girl child education initiatives are high on his agenda and the Amufest celebrated by the Avatime people dedicates a day during the weeklong activities to celebrate women. Known as the “Women’s Day”, the event is also used to create awareness on gender equality and empowerment of women.

Touching on how women can be encouraged to speak up on SGBV, he noted that Traditional Leaders would have to relook at their traditional laws that hinders the progress of women. Those that scares them from saying what men do to them and abolish such laws and customs. When they are sure you as a Leader will protect them when such issues are brought before you, they will certainly speak up, he added.

He called for strong punishments for men who abuse women as this will serve as deterrent to others. In Avatime, we have by-laws that punishes irresponsible parents and guardians who allow their children to misbehave or push their children into illicit activities. When a girl gets pregnant and is still in school, the law directs the parents of the boy if alive to assist in the upkeep of the baby and the girl returns to school if she so wishes.

We as Chiefs have an important role to play and that cannot be overlooked. I urge all Traditional Leaders to use their platforms to communicate the message of ending violence to all. They should create opportunities for the women in their communities to exercise their rights.  Let’s all use these 16 days of activism to remember the words of Kwegyir Aggey when he said, “If you educate a man you educate an individual but if you educate a woman, you educate a nation”. Let us educate our nation for a better future.