By Sotunde Busayo
As a result of the psychological torture that are infringed on children and young women and their well being due to their perceived and inferior status in the African society, the African Union (AU) in collaboration with the Deutshe Gesellschaft fur internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) will hold a press conference o the theme ‘Celebrating courage and overcoming Harmful traditions’.
The conference, which will hold in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on October 5 till October 7 will feature plenary on Human rights and legal protection of women and girls with regards to HTPs, roundtable on HTP with representatives from Africa, Europe and Asia as well as positive and negative cultural practices and traditional, sexual and reproductive health rights.
The conference is expected to increase commitments by national structures, regional, continental and international institutions, civil society organisations and development partners to enhance partnership in an effort to bring an end to Harmful Traditional Practices (HTPs).
HTPs include female Genital mutilation, early marriages, taboos or practices which prevent women from controlling their fertility, nutritional taboos, traditional birth practices, sacrifice of children for organs to be used for witchcraft, boy preference over girls, female infanticide, early pregnancy and dowry price. Some of these HTPs result in death, disability, health complications and psychological harm for millions of Africa girls and women.
While some of these HTPS are practised throughout Africa, some are more common in some part of the continent.
The conference, which was organised by the Social affairs Department of the AU commission seeks to contribute to the continent for the promotion of the right of girls, children and women; advocate for the ratification and domestication of the AU protocol to the charter on human rights and welfare of the child and the charter on the African cultural Renaissance; as well as highlight the aspect of Africa culture and tradition which hinder development in general especially among women and children among others.
The meeting will further advocate strategies and actions to combat HTP and promote behavioural change while focusing on best practices and success stories.
Participants at the conference African Ministers and selected member states parliamentarians, traditional and religious leaders, representatives of international organisations and civil society organisation.