In the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and across Nigeria, taboos and stigma have been cited as major barriers to marriage.
At a symposium on taboos and stigma titled “The Impact of Ethnic and Religious Biason Marriage and Mental Health in Nigeria,” Mrs. Jumai Ahmadu, President of the Helpline Foundation for the Needy, claimed this.
Ahmadu who was represented at the occasion by Onoja Godwin, Content Provider/Program Director of Helpline Foundation for the Needy, urged married couples to allow love, not culture and custom, guide their marriages.
According to her, “If different couples from different cultures are exhibiting the same culture in that marriage and if some parts of their cultures are not repressed, such marriages will have issues. Especially cultures that over bloat the right of the husband above that of the wife and there are gender role issues in the house, it can lead to divorce.
“Culture has a major role to place in the sustenance of marriage because it helps to point out morals and the dos and don’ts that should sustain marriages. But when it comes to personality differences, some cultures should be repressed for marriage to be effective.
“75 percent of divorce in marriages can be attributed to culture and tradition. To reduce the rate of divorce in marriages, the couples should know themselves and exhibit love. It is the utmost strength to sustain any marriages, not culture and tradition,” she stated.
Meanwhile, Ahmed Bolaji, Head of Afrodition Consults Limited said the conference focused on ethnic and religious bais of mental health, because as a lawyer when dealing with clients, revealed that the taboos and stigma that Nigerians grew up with is affecting their ways of life negatively.
He hinted that , “So we think that it is incumbent on us to help our people to think and feel differently and behave differently and all of this challenges faced by Nigerians can be better resolved”.