Effects Of Puberty Rites
Puberty Rites are very common practices in Africa with Ghana not being an exemption. In our part of the world, special customary and traditional festivals are held every year for young girls who enter puberty. The practice is believed to be centuries old and people especially traditionalists have resisted every attempt by civil organisations and activists to bring it to an end insisting it is a part of their custom that must not and cannot be done away with.
In Ghana, the most popular puberty rites are those of the Krobo people known as Dipo and that of the Akan people known as Bragoro.
While these rites still take place even today, the practice has faced great resistance and criticism from human rights groups largely due to the manner in which the rites are carried out and the long term and short term effect they have on the girl child with many arguing that the rite violates the right of the adolescent girls.
Does it have any effect on young girls?
Many people believe that puberty rite has a long term effect on the psychology of the girls who are put through the practice. According to some mental health experts, most girls will never be the same psychologically after they are dressed semi-nude and paraded through town at the persuasion of their parents and community but not on their free will.
Some quarters also argue that dressing girls half naked and walking them through a community gives the male youth in the community a sense of entitlement to the bodies of these young girls and may encourage sexual abuse by the male youth.
Another effect highlighted by activist is how puberty rites tend to damage or reduce the confidence of young girls in the community. These young girls after being put through the rite where the whole community witnessed their nudity tend to loss confident in themselves, which sometimes goes a long way to affect their academic performance and threaten their educational journey.
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