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Opinions of Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Columnist: adwoaadubianews.com

Double agony for the Trokosi girl, servitude and Female Genital Mutilation

Trokosi is the giving away of young girls or ladies to atone for the sins of their relatives against gods. This tradition is prevalent and rife in certain parts of Ghana and other African countries. In Ghana and in Togo, it is practiced by the Ewe tribe in the Volta region, and in Benin, it is practiced by the Fon.

One will be surprised to know that Trokosi rite is still ongoing and as many as 4000 to 6000 women and children are under bondage and servitude in Ghana my country alone.

Tro which means god or shrine and Kosi means wife, queen or slave is considered a spiritual act and as such it comes with female genital mutilation, (a painful act of partially or totally removing the external genitalia of girls and young women for non-medical reasons) oooosh, one of the most difficult human rights violation to eradicate.

A girl who is held bondage to serve a fetish priest in one village for the atonement or pacification of the sins of a relative is not enough suffering but also she must undergo the barbaric female genital mutilation as part of the spiritual act.

A young girl been given away by his family is totally lost, sad and confused as to why she should be selected to serve the gods for no sins of hers, to add to it. This is not a joke but more or less suicidal to a girl at that early age, double agony.

This is the highest form of inhumane treatment meted out to innocent girls who have been deprived of their right to education and other enshrined human rights.

Come to think of it, why must girls or ladies only be used for the Trokosi rite and not men or boys also, if it’s about serving and atoning for sins, are men not physically stronger and mentally capable of been used for this same rite.

Abusuafuo please what is the history supporting this Trokosi rite, or can we assume that one fetish priest in a village needs more women to warm his bed at night and therefore prefer ladies are used for this rite and not men.

Adwoaadubianews.com desk found out that girls or women who undergo this trokosi rite are considered servants whether they are numbering 100 or 200 and it’s also their duty to warm the bed of the fetish priest every night in turns while they have his kids.

More so, these women are to farm or work in order to provide for themselves and their children. Obviously the fetish Priest is enjoying without paying for the bride price for any of these women and also not been responsible for the upkeep of his offsprings. This is total enjoyment.

Trokosi was outlawed in the 1998 and contravenes the country’s constitution and many international treaties yet it is still happening right under our nose in the Volta region and other regions in Ghana.

Through gathering information on this particular topic, it was discovered that one lady who reported her parents for sending her to serve at a shrine yielded no results as the law was not enforced as expected and she was made to serve against her wish.

Adwoaadubianews.com team found that the police boldly told the young woman that it was a tradition and the police couldn’t do more about it, Eiiiiii my country Ghana. Is this not a total violation of the right of the young lady so why can’t the law protect her against this barbaric tradition?

Must every traditional rite be encouraged and agreed on by the society such that the police supports that a lady should serve at a shrine to atone for the sins of relatives. This and more untold stories about girls been given away to serve fetish priests and forcefully give their bodies to them without the law protecting them.

Where are the human rights activists? Is this not a human right violation? The noise about an end to the Trokosi rite is not a nine-day wonder work but a continuous and persistent effort to see a total eradication of this barbaric act and also make an effort to free women already undergoing this rite.

The Ministry for Gender, Children and Social Protection, currently what is your statistics on ladies undergoing this rite in the country and what measures are in place to ensure no girl or woman is made to serve a god as a virgin and also be circumcised because it’s a spiritual ritual.

Will the government and Non-Governmental organizations look unconcerned as this inhumane treatment is meted out to women, and why women only. That is the puzzle yet we claim it’s a woman’s world while most women suffer most forms of abuse without any immediate or long term remedies.

The factual ignorance and fear of some families put a lot of girls or young ladies in this position of servitude, who then lose themselves and even their Lives to Trokosi.

It is high time this primitive tradition is banned no matter the history. It’s long overdue, who does this in the 21st century, why and how must some African countries hold on to this barbaric tradition of enslaving young girls while fetish priest enjoys them.