From Okey Sampson, Umuahia
Traditional rulers in Abia State have restated their commitment to implementing the Supreme Court judgment on women inheritance in Igbo land.
To this end, the traditional rulers said the judgment will be implemented in all the communities in the state.
The traditional rulers gave the commitment in Umuahia yesterday during a one day multi stakeholders strategic conference between them and WomenAid Collective (WACOL), in partnership with the Ford Foundation, support Ministries of Women Affairs, Justice and the 50/50 Action Women of Abia State.
In a 10 point communique issued after the conference and signed by the chairman, Abia State Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Joseph Nwabeke, the traditional rulers stated:
“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 make 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”.
The traditional rulers were of the view that if the communique was implemented to the latter, Abia State would be free from all forms of violence against women and girls.