Some selected journalists in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region have joined forces to train selected youth on community journalism aimed at ending harmful widowhood rites in their communities.
The journalists will train 40 youth to be drawn from Bolgatanga municipality, Talensi and Nabdam districts on basic principles of journalism with emphasis on community reporting. The trainee community journalists will receive theory and practical trainings and tasked to collect primary data on harmful widowhood rites.
They will then share their data with their mentors who double as their trainers for publication in the mainstream media. The beneficiaries will also receive series of capacity training from Widows and Orphans Movement (WOM) with the support of ActionAid Ghana.
Director of WOM, Fati Abigail Abdulai, speaking on Reporters’ Visit on A1 Radio on Tuesday, said although cases of dehumanising widowhood rites have reduced, there is still the need for collaboration with the media in ending the menace.
According to her, the involvement of the media in the upcoming campaign is for the selected media practitioners to understand and appreciate the ordeals widows go through and for them to play advocacy role in reverting the trend.
She recounted that in all the districts in the region, widows, after the death of their husbands, lose properties including land and houses they acquired with their husbands when they were alive. What accounts for this is the fact that, traditionally, wives are seen as properties of their husbands and so have no rights to owe whatever properties left behind by their deceased husbands.
Some of dehumanising widowhood rites include forcing widows to drink concoctions to prove their innocence in connection with their husbands death, shaving their hair with unkempt tools and sometimes, hot water poured on them.
Earlier Tuesday, WOM held a planning meeting with the selected journalists from print and electronic. Training for the forty youth – fifteen to be drawn from Talensi, fifteen from Nabdam and ten from Bolgatanga will take place at Tongo from 21st to 22nd May 2018.