Protest: Anambra Women Decry Upsurge of Single Mothers Among Young Girls


…Demand Legislation Against High Cost of Marriages

Call For Legislation

From John Ugo, Awka

Women in Anambra state on Thursday protested against the high cost of bride price and other traditional marriage rites that prevent young and mature girls from getting married when due in the state.

The protest may not be unconnected with the increasing youth unemployment, single mothers among young and unmarried ladies, spate of prostitution and other social vices among young ladies.

President of Anambra State Association of Town Union (ASATU) women wing, Franca Nwigbo, canvassed for legislation to make the process of getting married affordable for would be suitors and brides.

Nwigbo’s advise followed outcry by youths in the state about high cost of marriage rites.

Coordinator, National Youth Council, Awka South, Mr Stanley Nkala had during a forum organised by the Justice Development and Peace Caritas and the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office blamed the growing number of single mothers in the state to outrageous cost of marriage rites.

He said, “Such outrageous cost of marriage rites discourage many eligible bachelors from attempting to get married; resulting in many young girls who cannot find husbands to become single mothers.

But Nwigbo said a legislation that would reduce cost of marriage would go a long way in assisting youths to settle down as couples at reasonable age.

According to her, “For me, the problem is not the bride price itself, but other traditional rites, including wine carrying which differs from one village to another.”

“If the government can come up with a guideline, it will go a long way in assisting our youths. Most of them who are of age to marry are still single because of the cost implications.

“The same way they handle the burial processes, should be applicable here. Though some are not following the guidelines, but some out of fear will abide by the law.”

Nwigbo also advised spinsters to marry men they love not necessarily where he hailed from, just as she cautioned parents to give their daughters free hands to choose their life partners.

Earlier, Manager, JDPC Onitsha/FCDO project, Mr Alphonsus Nwoye, said that the Organization would submit its recommendations to the state government and the traditional rulers on the touchy issue.

“We will make our recommendations and plan a visit to the state government, traditional rulers in the communities so that these issues will be thoroughly considered,” he stated.


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