GENERAL NEWS

Participants called for laws for financial maintenance of pregnant women

By
Edmund Quaynor/Georgina Agyen, GNA  Koforidua (E/R),
March 26, GNA – Participants at a workshop in Koforidua have advocated for a
law that will make it mandatory for men who impregnate women to give them
financial support during the pregnancy.

The participants at
a dissemination of preliminary results of research on the impact of abuse and
tension on pregnant women on the mental development of the child delivered,
said with a law in place, men who impregnate women will provide financial
maintenance for the pregnant women until she delivers. 

They argued that
such a law could help remove the pressure and stress on pregnant women which
turn to negatively affect the mental development of the children they give
birth to.

The participants
called for the provision of shelters for pregnant women in distress.

The participants
urged traditional authorities to help reduce penalties paid by men who
impregnated their fiancées before performing the marriage rites.

They explained that
such a gesture could encourage many young men to perform the marriage rites of
their fiancées.

The participants
called the empowerment of women to aid them to develop self confidence that
would make them to be economically independent to help reduce the general
stress of women who had to depend   on
their male partners for their economic survival.

The participants
also called on parents to desist from sending away from the home their pregnant
teenage daughters to stay with men who got them pregnant.

This is because in
many instances, the ladies undergo a lot of stress especially when their male
partners are not employed.

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Professor Joseph
Osafo of the Psychology Department of the University of Ghana and a member of
the research team, said many pregnant women in cohabitation relationship often
suffer intimate and sexual abuse which turn to have effect on the unborn
babies.

He said during the
research, 63 per cent of the respondent in Koforidua in the Eastern Region were
pregnant women living in cohabitation relationship with the men who impregnated
them.

Prof Osafo said many
of the abuse of children by their mothers were a carryover of the abuse
suffered by the mothers when they were pregnant.

Prof Osafo urged
religious bodies to use their platform to educate men to respect pregnant women
and support them and encourage women to be economically independent.

Dr Patricia Akweongo
of the School of Public Health of the University of Ghana, said the research
would be conducted in phases for the next 25 years to look at the effect of
stress on pregnant women on the mental development of the children they
delivered.

She said the
research was being conducted in several countries including Jamaica,
Philippines, South Africa, Romania, Vietnam, Sri-Lanka and Ghana.

Dr Akweongo said the
research was being sponsored by the a number of development partners including
the Bortnar Foundation of the United Kingdom, World Health Organization and
UNICEF.

GNA

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