Some women in Sirigu, a farming community in the Kassena-Nankana West District of the Upper East Region are expressing the fear of losing their husbands to pretty young ladies.
According to them, because the custom forbids married women in the community from dressing provocatively, their husbands are neglecting them to the young ladies in the community who dress in a provocative manner, purposely to snatch their husbands.
“Our husbands are looking at the small small girls in the village more than their wives. The reason is that, nowadays, the ladies, the way they dress is different from we the married women. Because we cannot dress like an unmarried woman, our husbands feel the way the girls dress so they go to them and leave us”, Jessica Ayerikia lamented.
But in an attempt to deny their husbands sex as a way of punishment due to their “unfaithfulness”, Mrs. Ayerikia who say they get abused sexually by their partners added that the situation is contributing to divorces in the community.
“In marriage, sex is important. So if you ignore me every day and you go there to free yourself there without coming to me, we may divorce”, she stated.
Another woman, Martha Anaaya recounts the sexual abuses women in the community encounters at the hands of their spouses.
“A man can return home from a funeral ground drank and without bathing, he will want to have sex with you. And when you refuse him sex, maybe you are tired or you are menstruating, he will start beating you and saying your body belongs to him. When that happens to a lady, that lady will always feel shy to tell somebody that my husband beats me last night because I refuse to have sex with him. We always keep it and it is killing us emotionally.”
This came to light during the launch of the ‘Equal Rights and Opportunities for Women and Girls’ project (EROP) held at Sirigu by the Presbyterian Health Service.
In the Upper East Region, the project is implemented in 3 assemblies, the Kassena-Nankana West District, Talensi district, and the Bolgatanga Municipal. The one-year project is funded by the Dutch Embassy through the Ghana Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Alliance.
Frederick Mensah, the Project Officer for the Presbyterian Health innovative project said the EROP project seeks to empower women and girls to stand for their right against sexual and gender-based violence.